Glioblastoma (GBM) is a fast‐growing type of brain tumour that develops from glial cells in the brain. GBM is an aggressive brain cancer that typically results in death within months following diagnosis if not treated. Brain cancers are the ninth most common cancers in the UK; GBM is one of the most common types of brain cancer. The exact cause of GBM is not known but research has shown that changes in genes that produce a protein called ‘EGFR’ often leads to poorer treatment outcomes. This is now an active area of research in the search for improved treatment options for GBM.
Depatuxizumab mafodotin is a monoclonal antibody‐drug conjugate that targets EGFR and is being investigated to treat GBM. It selectively targets cancer cells by circulating throughout the body until it finds the specific antigen that is over‐expressed on tumour cell surfaces, releasing the toxic molecules that destroys the cancerous tumour cells. This potentially reduces the damage to normal cells in other parts of the body. Depatuxizumab mafodotin is delivered intravenously and is proposed to be used alongside the current treatment options for certain people with GBM. If licenced, it has the potential to increase the length of survival in patients with GBM.
Pembrolizumab is a drug administered by intravenous infusion which stimulates the body’s own immune system to fight cancer cells. If licensed, pembrolizumab in addition to chemotherapy could provide an additional or alternative treatment option to patients who currently have limited treatment options.