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The new mRNA-based therapy will ensure the prevention and effective treatment of glioblastoma and will contribute to reduced expenditure on healthcare resources and better overall health and well-being.
From the research-based pharmaceutical industry in Europe.

Glioblastoma is a malignant disease that occurs predominantly in the brain,

but can also affect the brain stem, cerebellum, and spinal cord. This tumor is characterized by accelerated and aggressive growth and diffuse spread in the surrounding tissues. Patients develop symptoms rapidly, including nausea, vomiting, and severe headache, which is due to increased intracranial pressure, weakness, sensory changes, balance difficulties, and depending on the tumor location seizures can be observed. Glioblastoma leads to impairments of physical capacity and mental health. This causes severe deterioration in the quality of life for suffering patients. The treatment for glioblastoma requires a multidisciplinary approach, which includes surgery, radiation, and chemotherapy, as well as palliative care. Treatment’s effectiveness also depends on various factors, including the patient’s age and analysis of molecular biomarkers.

Although surgical treatment can significantly improve patients’ survival, it places a large burden on healthcare resources. The financial aspect of glioblastoma therapy is a leading challenge for the healthcare system. mRNA-based therapy is released by introducing an mRNA sequence in the cell. This sequence is coded for a disease-specific antigen. Once it’s produced within the body, the antigen is recognized by the immune system which engages an effective immune response. Production of mRNA vaccines is cheaper and faster compared to conventional ones. Furthermore, this therapy provides safety for the patients, as it doesn’t contain infectious agents. There are several types of mRNA vaccines. The simplest one is non-replicating and provides delivery of packaged mRNA strands to the body, where the specific antigen is produced. The second type of vaccines is in vivo self-replicating – the pathogen-mRNA strand is packaged with additional RNA strands that ensure it will be copied once the vaccine is inside the cell. The third type of vaccines is also non-replicating and is based on dendritic cells extracted from the patient, which are transfected with the mRNA vaccine and then given back to the patient.

This novel approach to treatment contributes to an improved immune response which ensures the elimination of tumor cells. mRNA vaccines will provide significant and long-term therapeutic outcomes of glioblastoma treatment. There is a potential for improved long-term survival and healthcare system sustainability. This innovative therapy will contribute to elevated social and financial benefits for society. There are currently more than 20 trials studying the therapeutic potential of mRNA vaccines. The majority of these trials are in Phase 1 and Phase 2. mRNA vaccines are being developed for a broad range of different cancers, but glioblastoma and blood cancers are the two areas with the highest activity.

Glioblastoma: What potential breakthrough are we awaiting?

The new mRNA-based therapy will ensure the prevention and effective treatment of glioblastoma. This novel approach represents a potential paradigm shift in glioblastoma treatment because it contributes to improved long-term survival and elevated social and economic benefits. mRNA-based therapy offers a promising platform for developing long-term treatment options for glioblastoma. This will contribute to reduced expenditure on healthcare resources and better overall health and well-being.

How will this approach help the patients?

Current glioblastoma treatment includes surgical interventions that ensure decreasing of intracranial pressure, elimination of tumor tissues and possibilities for diagnosis. Moreover, this therapeutic approach is combined with radiation or chemotherapy, which slows down residual tumor growth after surgery and prevents cancer recurrence. This places a significant burden on healthcare and public resources. mRNA-based therapy will contribute to improved long-term survival and social interactions. The potential for a larger proportion of patients to experience long-term survival will ensure better professional engagement and economic contribution to society. The innovative mRNA-based therapy will improve patients’ productivity and independence. The elevated emotional distress and care load on relatives lead to severe deterioration in the quality of social interactions. This novel approach to treatment will alleviate the emotional and physical burden on patients, and their relatives. In this manner, mRNA-based therapy will contribute to improved mental health, productivity, and financial independence.

How many patients will be concerned?

The incidence of glioblastoma in Europe is 3,2 per 100 000 population. This represents 47% of all central nervous system tumors. This disease leads to low survival rates and has an overwhelming impact on quality of life. Lowered physical ability, as well as psychological health result from seizures, insomnia, fatigue, and difficulties related to current treatment. The innovative mRNA-based therapy will contribute to improved social interactions with relatives and reduce the emotional burden resulting from current therapeutic options. This novel approach will prevent the health risks of current treatment’s toxicity and invasiveness. Reduced healthcare dependence will improve productivity and increase financial and economic benefits.

What will be the potential impact on healthcare systems in Europe?

mRNA-based therapy will decrease the healthcare burden and contribute to a more effective allocation of healthcare and resources. This novel approach to treatment offers a therapeutic potential and prevention of the disease’s progression. This innovative therapy will contribute to improved productivity and reduced healthcare expenditure. Long-term survival will reduce hospital visits which will improve access to healthcare. In this manner, this will provide possibilities for faster and more effective diagnosis for more patients.


The therapies described above are currently under development and are not available to patients neither in Europe, nor in Bulgaria.

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