Analysis published for CTC brain cancer study
15 February 2022
The findings of a CTC-coordinated brain cancer study have been published in the oncology journal Cancers. The GALA-5 team have provided the following summary of their analysis, which was made available last year: 

The GALA-5 trial, a trial run by the CR UK & UCL Cancer Trials Centre, was a pilot study that evaluated the use of 5-ALA (or “Gliolan”) with Gliadel wafers together in adults with newly diagnosed glioblastoma, a type of brain cancer. The final analysis for the GALA-5 trial was published last year in Cancers and the full analysis can be found on the Cancers website

Patients taking part in the trial had two existing treatments for their brain tumour together as a combination: 

5-ALA, also called Gliolan, a compound that patients drank before surgery to make brain tumour cells show up under ultraviolet light so surgeons could see the tumour cells more easily. 
Biodegradable wafers/implants containing chemotherapy (Gliadel wafers) inserted in the cavity left after the tumour was removed in order to kill any remaining tumour cells.

The study aimed to find out if the two treatments are safe to have alongside standard chemoradiotherapy, affect whether people can have chemoradiotherapy after surgery, and are useful treatments for glioblastoma. 

The trial recruited between 2011 and 2013 and 59 eligible patients were treated as part of the trial. 

The research team found that 5-ALA and Gliadel wafers could be used as a treatment alongside chemoradiotherapy and didn’t cause too many side effects. 

Of the 59 people that were treated with 5-ALA, an operation, and Gliadel wafers, 46 people (78%) went on to have chemoradiation after surgery as planned. The results suggest that using 5-ALA and Gliadel wafers had limited impact on patients receiving further treatment. 
Some people had side effects that were mild or didn’t last long. But 34 people had at least one side effect that was more serious (grade 3+). The most common of these were muscle weakness and seizure. 
The team looked at how long it was before there signs that the cancer had started to grow again (progression-free survival) and how long people in the trial lived after joining the trial (overall survival). The results for patients in this trial (8.7 months and 14.7 months respectively) were similar to expectations for people having standard treatment.

For more information on the broad portfolio of clinical trials currently coordinated by the CTC, you can visit our trials pages.

Image: histopathological image of cerebral glioblastoma
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