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Gliadel Uses

Gliadel Use for Glioblastoma Multiforme

Glioblastoma multiforme (sometimes just called glioblastoma) is a grade IV astrocytoma. Astrocytomas are gliomas that arise from star-shaped glial cells called astrocytes. Glioblastoma is the most aggressive form of astrocytoma. It grows rapidly and often spreads to nearby brain tissue.
It is not uncommon for high-grade gliomas, such as glioblastoma multiforme, to regrow in most people. When glioblastoma has returned after previous treatment, it is referred to as recurrent glioblastoma multiforme. Gliadel is approved to treat recurrent glioblastoma multiforme in combination with surgery.

How Does It Work?

Gliadel is part of a group of medications called alkylating agents. In general, alkylating agents transfer a piece of their structure, called an alkyl group, to DNA. This causes the strands of DNA to bond to each other and become linked (known as "cross-linking"). The linked strands are unable to uncoil and separate, which is necessary for the DNA to replicate. Because the DNA cannot uncoil, it cannot replicate. Because DNA replication is essential for cells to grow and multiply, alkylating medications like Gliadel prevent cell growth and multiplication.
Gliadel comes as a small, dime-sized wafer that is surgically implanted into the brain. The wafers are placed into the space that remains after a brain tumor is removed. Once implanted, the wafers begin to dissolve and release the medication carmustine (the active ingredient) directly into the area.

Is It Safe for Children to Use Gliadel?

Gliadel has not been adequately studied in children and is not approved for use in this age group (usually defined as individuals younger than 18 years old). Talk to your healthcare provider about the risks and benefits of using this medicine in a child.
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