Chemotherapy after radiation benefits adults with low-grade brain cancer

1 Jun 2014

A combination chemotherapy regimen administered after radiation therapy improved survival in adults with low-grade gliomas, a form of brain cancer, compared to taking radiation therapy on its own. The benefits were reported on progression-free survival and overall survival.

Gliomas are tumors that begin in the brain or spinal cord, and are the most common form of primary brain tumor.

The findings were part of the results of a Phase 3 clinical trial presented at the 2014 American Society of Clinical Oncology Annual Meeting by the study's primary author Jan Buckner, M.D., deputy director, Cancer Practice, at Mayo Clinic Cancer Center.

The chemotherapy regimen consisted of procarbazine, CCNU, and vincristine (PCV).

"On average, patients who received PCV lived 5.5 years longer than those who received radiation alone," says Dr. Buckner. "These findings build on results published [..] in 2012 which showed that PCV given with radiation therapy at the time of initial diagnosis prolongs progression free-survival but not overall survival."

251 high-risk patients had enrolled in the trial

The trial, RTOG 9802, enrolled 251 patients with low-grade gliomas between October 1998 and June 2002 to address the role of chemotherapy following radiation treatment. Patients enrolled were at high risk compared to other low-grade glioma patients because they were 40 years of age or older or had a less than complete surgical removal of their tumor if they were under 40.

Investigators also found that patients with oligodendroglioma had better outcomes than those with astrocytoma or oligoastrocytoma, as did females.

 

Source: Science Daily

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