This doesn't mean that Opdivo (Nivolumab) doesn't help Glioblastomas. They just tried to use it incorrectly. Opdivo is a checkpoint inhibitor. It takes the brakes off of the immune response to help your body fight the tumor. But there has to be an immune response present for it to work. Unfortunately Glioblastomas are not a "hot" tumor and by itself doesn't really generate enough of an immune response that Opdivo can enhance. Something needs to be done to the tumor to initiate that immune response, then use Opdivo to enhance it. One possibility is starting Opdivo before the surgery when there are a larger number of tumor cells present and the act of the surgery itself triggers an immune response which Opdivo can enhance. Or during radiation when cell death causes an immune response. In this trial they waited until the radiation was over and the immune response slowed before starting Opdivo.
Another possibility is to use Optune at the same time as Opdivo. Optune triggers an immune response as it kills the tumor cells. Vaccines may do the same. This is why we need the Promising Pathway Act that I proposed. We need to be able to try different combinations and see results quickly.