Patients with low-grade gliomas who underwent chemotherapy after radiation therapy survived 70% longer than patients who underwent radiation therapy alone, according to a long-term follow-up analysis of the NIH-supported RTOG 9802 trial.
“The results of this study are practice changing,” researcher Jan Buckner, MD, professor of oncology at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., said in a press release. “Ongoing analysis of patient tumor samples should allow us to further identify the patients who will, and who will not, benefit from chemotherapy, taking yet another step toward individualized therapy.”
Buckner and colleagues enrolled 251 patients with high-risk, low-grade glioma. Patients aged younger than 40 years were eligible if they had undergone less than complete surgical removal of their tumors.
All patients underwent surgery followed by radiation therapy.
Researchers then assigned half of the patients to PCV chemotherapy, consisting of procarbazine (Matulane, Sigma-Tau Pharmaceuticals), lomustine (CeeNu, Corden Pharma) and vincristine. Chemotherapy was administered in 21-day cycles every 8 weeks for a total of six cycles. The other patients received no additional treatment.
Median follow-up was 12 years.
Results released by NIH showed significantly longer median OS among patients assigned to PCV chemotherapy (13.3 years vs. 7.8 years).
“Patients who are deemed appropriate candidates for radiation therapy should be encouraged to receive chemotherapy as well, understanding both the potentials benefits and risks,” researcher Edward Shaw, MD, radiation oncologist at Wake Forest School of Medicine, said in the press release.
Full study results are expected to be published in a peer-reviewed publication and presented at a scientific meeting later this year, according to NIH.
For more information:
RTOG 9802: A phase II study of observation in favorable low-grade glioma and a phase III study of radiation with or without PVC chemotherapy in unfavorable low-grade glioma.
: See the study for a full list of the researchers’ relevant financial disclosures.