Nimotuzumab for pediatric diffuse intrinsic pontine gliomas

Maura Massimino, Udo Bode, Veronica Biassoni, Gudrun Fleischhack

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Introduction: Diffuse intrinsic pontine gliomas (DIPG) have a poor prognosis: the median survival rate is less than one year. Radiotherapy is the only effective treatment affording an overall survival of 6 9 months. So far, no improvement has been achieved with the addition of single/poly-chemotherapy regimens. An urgent need is to advance in this field, from both the biological and the clinical points of view. Areas covered: Among the few studies providing biological information on DIPG, Gilbertson's group demonstrated a significant increase in EGFR expression. The activity of nimotuzumab, a humanized anti-EGFR monoclonal antibody, was therefore studied within a Phase II trial in 47 relapsing pediatric patients with DIPG and high-grade gliomas, showing an interesting, persistent response, especially in the first group treated. A multicenter exploratory study combining nimotuzumab and radiotherapy showed disease control and an overall patient survival similar to previous experiences along with an improvement in the quality of patient survival and no severe side effects. Expert opinion: We recommend considering this combination in the armamentarium against DIPG. It might be improved by adding other target drugs/low-toxicity chemotherapy regimens with a synergistic effect with the anti-EGFR component.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)247-256
Number of pages10
JournalExpert Opinion on Biological Therapy
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2011


  • anti-EGFR
  • childhood tumors
  • diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma
  • DIPG biology
  • nimotuzumab
  • pediatric brain tumors
  • prognosis
  • target therapy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Drug Discovery


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