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ATTRACT - Advanced brain Tumor TheRApy Clinical Trial

Glioblastoma is the most common malignant brain tumor in adults. Affected patients are often severely restricted in their everyday lives as this tumor can lead to a deterioration in cognitive functions as well as motor activity and speech. Complete surgical removal is impossible due to the diffuse growth, so a combination of radiotherapy and chemotherapy is then necessary. However, the prognosis is limited due to the lack of other effective therapies. While great progress has been made in recent years with targeted therapy approaches or immunotherapies for other types of cancer, these have unfortunately shown no benefit in the treatment of glioblastoma.

Therefore, a better understanding of the biology of glioblastoma is imperative to improve treatment outcomes. The Austrian clinical research group ATTRACT has set itself the goal of conducting a clinical trial on glioblastoma in order to improve the treatment rate. ATTRACT is supported by the Ludwig Boltzmann Society and the participating institutions in Vienna, Graz, Innsbruck, Linz and St. Pölten and aims to gain profound biological and medical insights into glioblastoma. Collection of various biological samples (tumor tissue, blood, stool) at the time of diagnosis allows so-called "translational" research to be carried out in this area, which is intended to combine scientific knowledge from the laboratory with clinical application. This broad approach makes it possible to investigate the genetic and metabolic basis as well as the so-called microbiome (i.e. the entirety of intestinal bacteria) in well-characterized cohorts of patients with glioblastoma.

The core of this strategy is a clinical trial in which patients can be offered a customized treatment option. This is possible by isolating tumor cells during routine surgical removal to cultivate them in the laboratory (CBmed, Graz) thereafter where these cells are treated with 28 different active agents in order to investigate their effects on tumor growth. This method could form the basis for a functional, precision medicine approach to identify the ideal drug for individual patients and thus improve survival.

Should you have been diagnosed with a suspected glioblastoma and would like to support scientific research in this field, ask your treating physician whether participation in ATTRACT is an option.