There were no differences in overall survival time, progression-free survival time, and quality of life between elderly and/or frail patients with newly diagnosed glioblastoma multiforme receiving 2 radiotherapy regimens, a new study published online ahead of print in the Journal of Clinical Oncology has shown.1

Because the optimal radiotherapy regimen for elderly and/or frail patients has not been established, researchers sought to compare 2 radiotherapy regimens on the outcome of these patients.

Researchers enrolled 98 patients and randomly assigned them 1:1 to receive short-course radiotherapy (25 Gy in 5 daily fractions over 1 week) or commonly used radiotherapy (40 Gy in 15 daily fractions over 3 weeks).

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Results showed that the short-course radiotherapy was noninferior to commonly used radiotherapy. Median overall survival time was 7.9 months (95% CI: 6.3-9.6) with short-course radiotherapy and 6.4 months (95% CI: 5.1-7.6) with commonly used radiotherapy (P=0.988). Median progression-free survival time was 4.2 months (95% CI: 2.5-5.9) and 4.2 months (95% CI: 2.6-5.7), respectively (P=0.716).

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Researchers found that quality of life did not differ between treatment arms both at 4 and 8 weeks after treatment.

“In view of the reduced treatment time, the short 1-week radiotherapy regimen may be recommended as a treatment option for elderly and/or frail patients with newly diagnosed glioblastoma,” the authors concluded.


  1. Roa W, Kepka L, Kumar N, et al. International Atomic Energy Agency randomized phase III study of radiation therapy in elderly and/or frail patients with newly diagnosed glioblastoma multiforme [published online ahead of print September 21, 2015]. J Clin Oncol. doi: 10.1200/JCO.2015.62.6606.