Which elderly newly diagnosed glioblastoma patients can benefit from radiotherapy and temozolomide? A PERNO prospective study

Enrico Franceschi, R. Depenni, A. Paccapelo, M. Ermani, Marina Faedi, Carmelo Sturiale, Maria Michiara, F. Servadei, Giacomo Pavesi, Benedetta Urbini, Anna Pisanello, Girolamo Crisi, M. A. Cavallo, Claudio Dazzi, Claudia Biasini, Federica Bertolini, C. Mucciarini, Giuseppe Pasini, Agostino Baruzzi, A. BrandesMonia Dall'Agata

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The role of temozolomide concurrent with and adjuvant to radiotherapy (RT/TMZ) in elderly patients with glioblastoma (GBM) remains unclear. We evaluated the outcome of patients >70 years in the context of the Project of Emilia-Romagna Region in Neuro-Oncology (PERNO), the first Italian prospective observational population-based study in neuro-oncology. For this analysis the criteria for selecting patients enrolled in the PERNO study were: age >70 years; PS 0–3; histologically confirmed GBM; postoperative radiotherapy (RT) after surgery with or without concomitant temozolomide (TMZ) or postsurgical TMZ alone. Between January 2009 and December 2010, 76 GBM elderly patients were identified in the prospective PERNO study. Twenty-three patients did not receive any treatment after surgery, and 53 patients received postsurgical treatments (25 patients received RT alone and 28 patients RT/TMZ). Median survival was 11.1 months (95 % CI 8.8–13.5), adding temozolomide concomitant and adjuvant to radiotherapy it was 11.6 months (95 % CI 8.6–14.6), and 9.3 months (95 % CI 8.1–10.6) in patients treated with RT alone (P = 0.164). However, patients with MGMT methylated treated with RT/TMZ obtained a better survival (17.2 months, 95 % CI 11.5–22.9) (P = 0.042). No difference in terms of survival were observed if patients with MGMT unmethylated tumor received RT alone, or RT/TMZ or, in MGMT methylated tumor, if patients received radiotherapy alone. In elderly patients RT/TMZ represent a widely used approach but it is effective with methylated MGMT tumors only.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)157-62
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Neuro-Oncology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2016


  • Elderly
  • Glioblastoma
  • MGMT methylation
  • Radiotherapy
  • Temozolomide

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Cancer Research
  • Oncology
  • Neurology


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