Vol 55, No 3 (2021)
Review Article
Published online: 2021-03-12

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Trends in glioblastoma treatment research: an analysis of clinical trials and literature

Aleksander E. Łaba12, Piotr Ziółkowski1
Pubmed: 33710606
Neurol Neurochir Pol 2021;55(3):269-280.


Introduction. Glioblastoma is the most common, and the most lethal, primary malignant brain tumour in adults. The aim of the study was to present a comprehensive, data-based review of glioblastoma treatment research, considering all clinical trials and peer-reviewed journal publications.

Materials and methods. Data regarding all glioblastoma clinical trials that was available on 7 August 2019 on ClinicalTrials.gov was analysed. Information on interventions’ mechanisms of action was obtained from AdisInsight. A PubMed search for ‘glioblastoma’ was performed in September 2019. Citation counts were gathered from Scopus. Custom software for obtaining and analyzing data was developed by the authors.

Results. 1,388 clinical trials on glioblastoma with a start date between 1979 and 2020 were identified. The distribution of glioblastoma clinical trial phases differs significantly from that of other high-mortality cancers. 526 unique interventions of clinical trials and 206 molecular targets have been isolated. 32,410 publications on glioblastoma have been found, the number having increased especially since 2006. Publications on identified treatment options comprised 32.2%. Publications on glioblastoma are cited on average 4.27 times per year. The average specificity of treatment options’ publications for glioblastoma is 6.9%.

Conclusions. Glioblastoma treatment options and their molecular targets can be quantitatively ranked according to their
scientific research output. To the best of our knowledge, no such registries have been elaborated before.

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