Randomized Controlled Immunotherapy Clinical Trials for GBM Challenged
Immunotherapies represent a promising strategy for glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) treatment. Different immunotherapies include the use of checkpoint inhibitors, adoptive cell therapies such as chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T cells, and vaccines such as dendritic cell vaccines. Antibodies have also been used as toxin or radioactive particle delivery vehicles to eliminate target cells in the treatment of GBM. Oncolytic viral therapy and other immunogenic cell death-inducing treatments bridge the antitumor strategy with immunization and installation of immune control over the disease. These strategies should be included in the standard treatment protocol for GBM. Some immunotherapies are individualized in terms of the medicinal product, the immune target, and the immune tumor-host contact. Current individualized immunotherapy strategies focus on combinations of approaches. Standardization appears to be impossible in the face of complex controlled trial designs. To define appropriate control groups, stratification according to the Recursive Partitioning Analysis classification, MGMT promotor methylation, epigenetic GBM sub-typing, tumor microenvironment, systemic immune functioning before and after radiochemotherapy, and the need for/type of symptom-relieving drugs is required. Moreover, maintenance of a fixed treatment protocol for a dynamic, deadly cancer disease in a permanently changing tumor-host immune context might be inappropriate. This complexity is illustrated using our own data on individualized multimodal immunotherapies for GBM. Individualized medicines, including multimodal immunotherapies, are a rational and optimal yet also flexible approach to induce long-term tumor control. However, innovative methods are needed to assess the efficacy of complex individualized treatments and implement them more quickly into the general health system.