Nimotuzumab treatment of malignant gliomas

Udo Bode, Maura Massimino, Ferdinand Bach, Martina Zimmermann, Elena Khuhlaeva, Manfred Westphal, Gudrun Fleischhack

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Introduction: In spite of new alkylating medication and recently accumulated knowledge about genomics, the prognosis of malignant gliomas remains poor. The introduction of single substances interfering with tumour proliferation dynamics has been disappointing and the lessons learned indicate that a complicated network of proliferation needs time consuming, in-depth analysis in order to more specifically treat now distinguishable subgroups of a disease, which too long was thought of as a uniform entity. Areas covered: The clinical trials using the EGFR antibody nimotuzumab in the treatment of malignant gliomas are reviewed. Pending conformation in future studies the antibody might be part of the treatment of MGMT-negative, EGFR-amplified, not completely resected gliomas of adulthood and juvenile DIPG (pontine gliomas). Upcoming genomic results of the different tumour entities may suggest certain combination partners of the antibody. Recent studies of nimotuzumab indicate the reason for the lack of toxicity, which is the most attractive argument for its clinical use besides modest efficacy. Expert opinion: We await the final results on the use of the antibody together with vinorelbine and radiation therapy for the therapy of DIPG. Adult patients with MGMT-negative, EGFR amplified, not totally resected GBM may also profit from this combination therapy. TK-inhibitors combined with the antibody and irradiation may be an option for a therapeutic trial in paediatric patients.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1649-1659
Number of pages11
JournalExpert Opinion on Biological Therapy
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2012


  • EGFR-antagonists
  • EGFR-antibodies
  • Glioma
  • Malignant glioma
  • Nimotuzumab
  • Paediatric brain tumours
  • Pontine glioma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Drug Discovery


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