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Polifeprosan 20, 3.85% carmustine slow release wafer in malignant glioma: patient selection and perspectives on a low-burden therapy

Authors Kleinberg L

Received 1 June 2016

Accepted for publication 29 July 2016

Published 24 November 2016 Volume 2016:10 Pages 2397—2406


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Johnny Chen

Lawrence Kleinberg

Department of Radiation Oncology and Molecular Radiation Sciences, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD, USA

Polifeprosan 20 with carmustine (GLIADEL®) polymer implant wafer is a biodegradable compound containing 3.85% carmustine (BCNU, bischloroethylnitrosourea) implanted in the brain at the time of planned tumor surgery, which then slowly degrades to release the BCNU chemotherapy directly into the brain thereby bypassing the blood–brain barrier. Carmustine implant wafers were demonstrated to improve survival in randomized placebo-controlled trials in patients undergoing a near total resection of newly diagnosed or recurrent malignant glioma. Based on these trials and other supporting data, carmustine wafer therapy was approved for use for newly diagnosed and recurrent malignant glioma in the United States and the European Union. Adverse events are uncommon, and as this therapy is placed at the time of surgery, it does not add to patient treatment burden. Nevertheless, this therapy appears to be underutilized. This article reviews the evidence for a favorable therapeutic ratio for the patient and the potential barriers. Consideration of these issues is important for optimal use of this therapeutic approach and may be important as this technology and other local therapies are further developed in the future.

Keywords: carmustine, wafer, gliadel, glioblastoma

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