Neurologic Manifestations of Glioblastoma Multiforme Medication

Updated: Nov 09, 2015
  • Author: ABM Salah Uddin, MD; Chief Editor: Stephen A Berman, MD, PhD, MBA  more...
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Medication Summary

The goals of pharmacotherapy for glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) are to reduce morbidity and to prevent complications.


Alkylating agents

Class Summary

This oral alkylating agent has been approved for newly diagnosed GBM and recurrent anaplastic astrocytomas.

Temozolomide (Temodar)

Oral alkylating agent converted to MTIC at physiologic pH; 100% bioavailable; approximately 35% crosses blood-brain barrier. Indicated for GBM combined with radiotherapy. Significant overall survival was demonstrated in patients treated with temozolomide and radiation compared with radiotherapy alone.


Cytotoxic agents

Class Summary

Local chemotherapy with carmustine (BCNU) wafers (Gliadel wafers) significantly prolongs survival in patients with newly diagnosed primary malignant glioma.


Gliadel is a small wafer that contains the chemotherapeutic drug carmustine, or BCNU. The wafer is designed to release the drug slowly over a period of 2-3 wk after placed in tumor bed. Up to 8 Gliadel wafers are implanted in the cavity, slowly delivering BCNU directly to tumor site.