Glioma Progression Slowed by Chemotherapy After Radiation

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The combination of procarbazine, CCNU, and vincristine administered after radiation therapy was shown to improve progression-free survival and overall survival in adult patients with low-grade gliomas compared with radiation alone.

These phase III results were presented at the Society for Neuro-Oncology’s annual meeting by lead researcher Jan Buckner, MD, of the Mayo Clinic Cancer Center. The study showed that patients who received the chemotherapy regimen after radiation therapy lived, on average, 5.5 years longer than those who received only radiation.

The clinical trial, entitled RTOG 9802, included 251 patients with low-grade gliomas between October 1998 and June 2002. The patients enrolled were considered high-risk when compared with other patients with high-grade gliomas either because of their age (40 years or older) or the incomplete surgical removal of their tumor. Researchers identified patients with oligodendroglioma as having better outcomes than patients with oligoastrocytoma and astrocytoma.

Researchers also identified better outcomes in women compared with men. The researchers used the National Cancer Institute’s National Clinical Trials Network and utilized investigators throughout the United States and Canada. Based on these positive findings, researchers will now study the tumor tissue from patients involved in the trial to identify biomarkers that can indicate which patients will see the most benefit from specific therapies.


Procarbazine, CCNU, and vincristine administered after radiation therapy was shown to improve survival.

A chemotherapy regimen consisting of procarbazine, CCNU, and vincristine (PCV) administered following radiation therapy improved progression-free survival and overall survival in adults with low-grade gliomas, a form of brain cancer, when compared to radiation therapy alone.

The findings were part of the results of a Phase III clinical trial presented today at the Society for Neuro-Oncology's 19th Annual Meeting in Miami by the study's primary author Jan Buckner, M.D., deputy director, practice, at Mayo Clinic Cancer Center. "On average, patients who received PCV lived 5.5 years longer than those who received radiation alone," says Dr. Buckner.

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