gms | German Medical Science

60th Annual Meeting of the German Society of Neurosurgery (DGNC)
Joint Meeting with the Benelux countries and Bulgaria

German Society of Neurosurgery (DGNC)

24 - 27 May 2009, Münster

Neoadjuvant Targeting of GBM with Radiolabelled Substance P – Breaking a Therapeutic Dogma in Glioma Treatment?

Meeting Abstract

  • D. Cordier - Neurochirurgische Klinik, Universitätsspital Basel
  • F. Forrer - Nuklearmedizin, Universitätsspital Basel
  • M. Sailer - Neurochirurgische Klinik, Universitätsspital Basel
  • H. Mäcke - Nuklearmedizin, Universitätsspital Basel
  • J. Müller - Nuklearmedizin, Universitätsspital Basel
  • A. Merlo - Neurochirurgie, Klinikum Sonnenhof, Bern

Deutsche Gesellschaft für Neurochirurgie. 60. Jahrestagung der Deutschen Gesellschaft für Neurochirurgie (DGNC), Joint Meeting mit den Benelux-Ländern und Bulgarien. Münster, 24.-27.05.2009. Düsseldorf: German Medical Science GMS Publishing House; 2009. DocMI.09-04

doi: 10.3205/09dgnc233, urn:nbn:de:0183-09dgnc2339

Published: May 20, 2009

© 2009 Cordier et al.
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License ( You are free: to Share – to copy, distribute and transmit the work, provided the original author and source are credited.



Objective: We analyzed whether neoadjuvant treatment prior to tumor resection, which is an established principle in oncology for some types of cancer, is also a valid concept for improving the therapy of malignant brain tumors. In GBM, debulking surgery is regularly being performed as initial step to decrease symptomatic intracranial pressure. In a previous study, we found that local injection of radiolabelled substance P into NK1-receptor expressing recurrent malignant gliomas was well tolerated and led to functional improvement. From a surgical point of view, resectability was facilitated due to improved demarcation and the radiation-induced anti-angiogenic effect.

Methods: In a phase I study, we treated 10 glioblastoma (GBM) patients by locally injecting the radiolabelled peptidic vector [90Yttrium]-DOTAGA-Substance P prior to tumor resection. Chemical synthesis, the radiolabelling protocol and local injection of the vector have been described previously.

Results: Neoadjuvant injection of [90Yttrium]-DOTAGA-substance P was found to be feasible without signs of decompensating intracranial pressure. The prolonged application of corticosteroids in the current study protocol was identified as the main risk factor for potential side effects. Nine out of ten patients stabilized or improved in their functional status. Neoadjuvant intratumoral irradiation made it possible to achieve an extent of resection between 90% and 100% (mean 96%), which may be of prognostic importance.

Conclusions: Neoadjuvant therapy of GBM using locally injected radiopeptides is feasible and of low-toxicity. It should be further assessed as a first line option in the therapeutic cascade of GBM treatments. The high extent of resection and the concomitant irradiation of tumor margins may be prognostically relevant.