Ask the Expert: Gliadel Wafers

What is Gliadel®?

Gliadel Wafers are biodegradable discs about the size of a dime that contain a chemotherapeutic drug called carmustine (also called BCNU). Gliadel Wafer treatment is not suitable for all patients and brain tumour types. It can be used to treat glioblastoma multiforme if the tumour recurs.

How is Gliadel administered?

Gliadel Wafers are implanted directly into the cavity after the brain tumour is removed. The wafers are approximately 14mm in diameter and 1mm thick (about the size of a dime). These wafers can only be placed in the cavity by a qualified neurosurgeon during surgery to remove the tumour.

How does Gliadel work?

The drug remains in high concentration near the tumour site for an extended period of time allowing direct action against the cancer cells in the cavity.

What are the side effects of Gliadel?

Please consult your physician for a list of potential side effects.

Is Gliadel approved by Health Canada?

Gliadel is approved by Health Canada for use with surgery and radiation to treat newly diagnosed glioma (a type of brain cancer) and with surgery to treat recurrent glioblastoma multiforme, also a type of brain cancer.

Do patients have access to Gliadel?

Patients can ask their physicians for Gliadel as it is available in Canada. For more information on accessing Gliadel, please speak to your physician.

Is there a patient assistance program for Gliadel?

Please call Eisai Ltd. at 905-361-7130 or 1-888-551-0549 to inquire about Patient Assistance Programs.


Find more information about advocacy on behalf of a patient or advocacy in support of the brain tumour community in the advocacy section of the website.
Download this information as a Brain Tumour Foundation of Canada Information Sheet (pdf)

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This information is provided for information purposes only, and do not represent advice, an endorsement or a recommendation, with respect to any product, service or business, and/or the claims and properties thereof, by Brain Tumour Foundation of Canada. Always consult your health care team if you have questions about your medical care and treatments options.

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