High-grade glioma therapy: adding flexibility in trial design to improve patient outcomes

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Introduction: Outcomes for patients with high grade gliomas have changed little over the past thirty years. This realization prompted renewed efforts to increase flexibility in the design and conduct of clinical brain tumor trials. Areas covered: This manuscript reviews the development of clinical trial methods, challenges and considerations of flexible clinical trial designs, approaches to improve identification and testing of active agents for high grade gliomas, and evaluation of their delivery to the central nervous system. Expert opinion: Flexibility can be introduced in clinical trials in several ways. Flexible designs tout smaller sample sizes, adaptive modifications, fewer control arms, and inclusion of multiple arms in one study. Unfortunately, modifications in study designs cannot address two challenges that are largely responsible for the lack of progress in treating high grade gliomas: 1) the identification of active pharmaceutical agents and 2) the delivery of these agents to brain tumor tissue in therapeutic concentrations. To improve the outcomes of patients with high grade gliomas efforts must be focused on the pre-clinical screening of drugs for activity, the ability of these agents to achieve therapeutic concentrations in non-enhancing tumors, and a willingness to introduce novel compounds in minimally pre-treated patient populations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)275-287
Number of pages13
JournalExpert Review of Anticancer Therapy
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2022


  • Blood–brain barrier
  • clinical trial design
  • endpoints
  • flexibility
  • glioblastoma
  • high grade glioma
  • neoadjuvant
  • next generation sequencing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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