Early chemotherapy and concurrent radio-chemotherapy in high grade glioma

Alba Ariela Brandes, Alberto Rigon, Paolo Zampieri, Elvira Scelzi, Pietro Amistà, Franco Berti, Antonio Rotilio, Marina Gardiman, Mario Vincenzo Fiorentino

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: The poor results from treatment of high grade glioma prompted us to explore new protocols involving concurrent radio-chemotherapy. Our primary objective was to evaluate the feasibility of very early postoperative chemotherapy with BCNU, concurrent radio-chemotherapy with carboplatin and teniposide, and post-radiotherapy BCNU. Our secondary objectives were to evaluate time to progression, and overall survival. surgery. Thirty days later, we started radiotherapy, 1.8 to 2 Gy/day for 5 days a week on limited fields up to 60 Gy, and concurrent chemotherapy with carboplatin 250 mg/m2 on days 1, 22, and 43, and teniposide 50 mg/m2 on days 1, 2, 3, 22, 23, 24, 43, 44 and 45. Two cycles of 150 mg/m2 BCNU were then given at 30 and 70 days, respectively, after the end of the radio-chemotherapy course. Therapy was then suspended, but if disease progression was evident, treatment was resumed with drugs that had not been previously employed. Surgical reintervention was not routinely considered. Results: Following radio-chemotherapy treatment in the 24 pts evaluable for response, we observed partial remissions in 8 cases (33%) and stable disease in 12 (50%). Actuarial estimates of progression free survival (PFS) were 33 weeks, with 56 wks for anaplastic astrocytoma and 31 weeks for glioblastoma. Median survival time (MST) of all pts was 58 weeks; 51 weeks for glioblastoma and was not reached for anaplastic astrocytoma. This regimen was feasible. Of 144 planned cycles, 139 were delivered, and among these only in 13 and 9 cycles the doses were reduced by 75 and 50%, respectively. We did not observe any gastrointestinal toxicity. Grade 2 hematological toxicity occurred in 25% of pts, grade 3 in 4% and neurological toxicity in 3% of the pts during BCNU delivery, probably due to a sharp increase in intracranial pressure. Conclusion: Early chemotherapy, concurrent chemo-radiotherapy and brief post-radio-therapy chemotherapy are feasible and well tolerated. The objective response and disease stabilization rates appear similar to previous experiences.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)247-255
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Neuro-Oncology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1996


  • Carboplatin
  • Central nervous system tumors
  • Concurrent radio-chemotherapy
  • Early chemotherapy
  • Teniposide

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Cancer Research
  • Oncology
  • Neuroscience(all)


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