Frequently Asked Questions
- What is Gliadel® Wafer?
GLIADEL® Wafer delivers BCNU directly to the site of the recurrent brain tumor.
After a surgeon operates to remove GBM tissue, he or she implants up to eight dime-sized GLIADEL® Wafers in the space the tumor once occupied. Each wafer contains a precise amount of BCNU. Over the next 2 to 3 weeks, the wafers slowly dissolve, bathing the surrounding cells with BCNU.
The goal of GLIADEL® Wafer therapy is to kill tumor cells left behind after surgery, thereby extending survival.
(This was taken from the gliadel.com website with permission
- Is GLIADEL® Wafer considered an experimental treatment?
No. GLIADEL® Wafer is commercially available in the U.S. for the treatment of GBM. Originally, only for recurrent GBM, but it is now also approved for use at the time of the initial surgery.
- Has GLIADEL® Wafer helped recurrent GBM patients live longer?
Yes. LIADEL® Wafer has been shown to extend the lives of patients with recurrent GBM.
According to one study, 56% of the GBM patients receiving GLIADEL® Wafer during surgery to remove their tumors were still alive after 6 months, as opposed to 36% of patients who only had surgery. The same study showed that the median survival (the length of time half of the patients with GBM in the study survived) went from 20 weeks without GLIADEL® Wafer to 28 weeks with GLIADEL® Wafer – an increase of 41%.
Your doctor will be able to give you a better assessment based on your individual situation.
- Are there any side effects associated with GLIADEL® Wafer therapy?
Yes. Chemotherapy has the potential to cause side effects. Certain side effects reported with intravenous BCNU treatment have not been seen after implantation of GLIADEL® Wafers.
Side effects that have been reported in GLIADEL® Wafer patients include seizures, pain, infection, and abnormal wound healing. Although these events may occur after brain surgery alone, they may occur more frequently when GLIADEL® Wafer is used. The most common side effects that occurred more often in patients receiving GLIADEL® Wafer than in patients receiving placebo included pain and abnormal wound healing.
Seizures do not occur more often with GLIADEL® Wafer, but they may occur sooner after surgery than if GLIADEL® Wafer was not used. Your doctor will probably treat seizures that may occur the same way, whether GLIADEL® Wafer was used or not.
- Will receiving GLIADEL® Wafer prevent the use of other cancer treatments my doctor might want to use?
Possibly. GLIADEL® Wafer therapy will not prevent you from undergoing any standard treatments, but it may prevent you from participating in some clinical trials of unapproved compounds or receiving experimental drugs. You and your doctor should review the details of clinical trials you are considering to see if GLIADEL® Wafer can be incorporated into your treatment regimen.
- If my tumor grows back, can GLIADEL® Wafer be used again?
Yes, depending on your doctor’s decision on the best course of treatment.
- Will implanting the wafers make my operation last longer?
Placing the GLIADEL® Wafers takes only 3 to 4 minutes. It will not add much to the time needed for your operation.
- Are there people who should not use GLIADEL® Wafer?
If you have had a previous allergy to carmustine (BCNU) or any other GLIADEL® ingredient, you should not receive GLIADEL® Wafer. Make sure your doctor knows about this and any other allergies.
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