Temozolomide should be considered as a possible first-line treatment for adults with intracranial ependymoma after failure of surgery and radiotherapy, a new study published online ahead of print in the journal Neuro-Oncology has suggested.1

According to the American Cancer Society, only about 2% of brain tumors are ependymomas, and because they typically do not grow into normal brain tissue, some can be removed completely and cured by surgery.

For the study, Roberta Rudà, MD, of the Department of Neuro-Oncology at University and City of Health and Science Hospital in Italy, and colleagues sought to investigate the response and survival associated with temozolomide salvage therapy in patients with intracranial ependymoma.

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Researchers analyzed data from 18 patients with either WHO grade 3 or grade 2 ependymoma. Of those, 11 had a supratentorial tumor location and 7 had infratentorial. Eleven patients experienced localized progression before temozolomide, 6 had local and spinal progression, and 1 had spinal only. Patients received a median of 8 cycles of temozolomide.

Results showed 1 patient achieved a complete response and 3 patients achieved a partial response. Seven patients had stable disease, while 7 had progressive disease. All 4 responding patients were chemotherapy-naive.

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Researchers found that median progression-free survival was 9.69 months (95% CI: 3.22-30.98) and overall survival was 30.55 months (95% CI: 12.85-52.17).

The findings suggest that temozolomide has a role in the treatment of chemotherapy-naive adult patients with recurrent intracranial ependymoma.


  1. Rudà R, Bosa C, Magistrello M, et al. Temozolomide as salvage treatment for recurrent intracranial ependymomas of the adult: a retrospective study [published online ahead of print on August 30, 2015]. Neuro Oncol. doi: 10.1093/neuonc/nov167.