Update on treatment strategies for anaplastic glioma: A review of literature

G. Simonetti, P. Gaviani, A. Innocenti, A. Botturi, E. Lamperti, A. Silvani

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Anaplastic gliomas (AG) include 6-10% of all newly diagnoses of primary brain tumors. They have an unfavourable prognosis and, to date, there is not an established treatment universally recognized. Four recent randomized clinical trials were identified for a total of 1,170 patients (anaplastic-astrocytomas, anaplasticoligoastrocytoma, anaplastic-oligodendroglioma), in order to define the better sequence and timing of chemo-radiotherapy, Three studies compared radiotherapy (RT) treatment vs. radio-chemotherapy with procarbazine-lomustine- vincristine (PCV) or temozolomide (TMZ) or dibromodulcitol and bichloroethylnitrosurea (DBD/BCNU) and only one compared RT vs chemotherapy (CT) with PCV or TMZ. Results show no significant differences in terms of PFS/OS between RT/CT alone or combined treatment although a trend toward an improvement of OS was observed after RT + CT treatment (m-OS in RT + adjuvant PCV was 42.3 vs. 30.6 months in RT alone p=0.0003). Grade 3-4 mielotoxicity has been observed in almost all cases of patients treated with PCV + RT. None of four studies reviewed conducted a head to head comparison between PCV vs. TMZ. Only a study randomized patients to PCV/TMZ without however providing data in terms of PSF and OS between the two treatments. It found no significant differences in PFS from initial RT and adjuvant CT (PCV-TMZ) at progression compared to initial CT followed by RT at progression. The optimal treatment of AG should reasonably consider not only the histology as well as the molecular markers of the tumor, but also clinical conditions, age of patients, life expectancy, Karnofsky-performance-status and tumor resection to achieve in future the personalization of care.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)977-981
Number of pages5
JournalNeurological Sciences
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 2014


  • Anaplastic glioma
  • Chemotherapy
  • Molecular markers
  • Radiation therapy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Dermatology
  • Medicine(all)


Dive into the research topics of 'Update on treatment strategies for anaplastic glioma: A review of literature'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this