Radiation and Chemotherapy Improves Survival For Certain Types of Brain Cancer

Combination of Radiation and Chemotherapy Improves Survival For Certain Types of Brain Cancer

Patients with a low-grade type of brain cancer known as low grade glioma may live up to five and a half years longer when treated with chemotherapy follow­ing radiation therapy compared with radiation therapy alone. Until now the median survival time after diagnosis has been 15 months with standard care, with only 10 percent of patients surviving more than five years—statistics that have left much room for improvement.1

In a trial that enrolled 251 patients with low-grade glioma, researchers found that patients who received chemotherapy with Matulane® (procarbazine), CeeNU® (lomustine), and Oncovin® (vin­cristine)—in combination, known as PCV—following radiation had an improved overall survival and progression-free survival compared with those who received chemother­apy alone. Patients who received PCV lived 5.5 years longer than those who received radiation alone. Given these impressive results, the combination of PCV chemotherapy and radiation will likely become a standard approach to treatment for certain patients with low-grade GBM—especially as future research helps identify which individuals are likely to benefit the most.

References:
1Buckner JC, Pugh SL, Shaw EG, et al. Phase III study of radiation therapy (RT) with or with­out procarbazine, CCNU, and vincristine (PCV) in low-grade glioma: RTOG 9802 with Alliance, ECOG, and SWOG. Journal of Clinical Oncolo­gy. 2014;32:5s (suppl.). Abstract 2000.

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