Beyond fluorescence‑guided resection: 5‑ALA‑based glioblastoma therapies

Acta Neurochirurgica (2024) 166:163

Glioblastoma is the most common primary malignant brain tumor. Despite advances in multimodal concepts over the last decades, prognosis remains poor. Treatment of patients with glioblastoma remains a considerable challenge due to the infiltrative nature of the tumor, rapid growth rates, and tumor heterogeneity.

Standard therapy consists of maximally safe microsurgical resection followed by adjuvant radio- and chemotherapy with temozolomide. In recent years, local therapies have been extensively investigated in experimental as well as translational levels.

External stimuli-responsive therapies such as Photodynamic Therapy (PDT), Sonodynamic Therapy (SDT) and Radiodynamic Therapy (RDT) can induce cell death mechanisms via generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) after administration of five-aminolevulinic acid (5-ALA), which induces the formation of sensitizing porphyrins within tumor tissue.

Preliminary data from clinical trials are available. The aim of this review is to summarize the status of such therapeutic approaches as an adjunct to current standard therapy in glioblastoma.