Currently being run out of a hospital in Switzerland, this trial is seeking to determine whether edema or increased intracranial pressure can be managed without, or with limited application of, dexamethasone (steroids).
Why is a trial focused on brain cancer steroids usage important?
Dexamethasone has long been the go-to steroid to relieve patients of intracranial pain and the discomfort that comes from having a brain tumor. Yet as the author states in the trial summary,
Steroids are also linked to a multitude of adverse side effects that may affect survival of GBM patients such as major immunosuppression. The use of steroids during radiotherapy is associated with reduced overall- and progression-free survival and has been identified as an independent poor prognostic factor.
And because brain cancer steroids usage is the default, a new regimen that balances both the short term need to relieve pain and discomfort and the conditions for long term healing would be ideal.
What are the details of this trial?
Sponsored by University Hospital Inselspital, Berne, Switzerland, this brain cancer steroids usage trial is scheduled to run through at least April 2022 and is for newly diagnosed patients who have not yet undergone a biopsy or resection.
The lead investigator is Andreas Raabe, MD of the Department of Neurosurgery and the contacts for the trial are:
Other studies related to brain cancer steroids usage
Recently, there was a write up in the Natural Medicine Journal summarizing and expanding upon research published in 2019 in the Journal of Neurosurgical Science that examined whether using Boswellic acids (commonly found in Frankincense oil) could help decrease radiotherapy-induced edema.
And while the two papers do not offer conclusive evidence that Boswellic acids can be substituted one to one for dexamethasone, they do demonstrate that there could be alternatives that do not carry as severe side effects.