A study reported in the New England Journal of Medicine suggests that patients with the brain tumor "Glioblastoma," may live almost twice as long if given the drug "Valganciclovir." See image.
It is thought that many cases of Glioblastoma are ~"made worse," by Cytomegalovirus. Valganciclovir inhibits the replication of Cytomegalovirus, and is thus thought to prolong survival by stopping Cytomegalovirus from making the tumor ~"more aggressive."
However, the exact mechanism of action by which Valganciclovir prolongs survival survival in all patients with Glioblastoma is not known because some people may not be infected with the virus. Nonetheless, Valganciclovir should still be used to treat Glioblastoma because it is effective... If the drug works, use it.
Future larger studies are warranted to evaluate the safety and efficacy of Valganciclovir in patients with Glioblastoma. These need to be done before the medication receives FDA approval and becomes the standard of care for Glioblastoma.
Prudent commentary from NEJM
"If valganciclovir is shown to be active in glioblastoma, patients should not be forced to wait until we understand why it works before it is used."
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