Promising new therapies for malignant gliomas
Since the publication of the 7th edition of Cancer, Principles & Practice of Oncology, there have been several potentially important advances in the treatment of patients with high-grade gliomas. These advances have occurred in the area of molecular targeting of the epidermal growth factor receptor and in attempts to inhibit glioma-associated angiogenesis. For the first time ever, drugs are being used that can cause reproducible and clinically meaningful tumor responses in patients with recurrent malignant gliomas. Unfortunately, the number of patients with long-term responses to these agents remains relatively low. Identification of biomarkers that will allow a more accurate prediction of which patients are likely to benefit from a specific treatment and new radiographic criteria of true drug-mediated antitumor effects will be increasingly important as new molecular targeted agents are evaluated in patients with primary brain tumors.