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J Clin Oncol. 2012 Sep 1;30(25):3065-70. doi: 10.1200/JCO.2011.35.8598. Epub 2012 Jul 30.

Randomized trial of radiation therapy plus procarbazine, lomustine, and vincristine chemotherapy for supratentorial adult low-grade glioma: initial results of RTOG 9802.

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  • 1Department of Radiation Oncology, Wake Forest University School of Medicine, 2000 W. First St, Winston-Salem, NC 27104, USA.



A prior Radiation Therapy Oncology Group (RTOG) clinical trial in anaplastic oligodendroglioma suggested a progression-free survival benefit for procarbazine, lomustine, and vincristine (PCV) chemotherapy in addition to radiation therapy (RT), as have smaller trials in low-grade glioma (LGG).


Eligibility criteria included supratentorial WHO grade 2 LGG, age 18 to 39 years with subtotal resection/biopsy, or age ≥ 40 years with any extent resection. Patients were randomly assigned to RT alone or RT followed by six cycles of PCV. Survival was compared by using the modified Wilcoxon and log-rank tests.


In all, 251 patients were accrued from 1998 to 2002. Median overall survival (OS) time and 5-year OS rates for RT versus RT + PCV were 7.5 years versus not reached and 63% versus 72%, respectively (hazard ratio [HR]; 0.72; 95% CI, 0.47 to 1.10; P = .33; log-rank P = .13). Median progression-free survival (PFS) time and 5-year PFS rates for RT versus RT + PCV were 4.4 years versus not reached and 46% versus 63%, respectively (HR, 0.6; 95% CI, 0.41 to 0.86; P = .06; log-rank P = .005). OS and PFS were similar for all patients between years 0 and 2. After 2 years, OS and PFS curves separated significantly, favoring RT + PCV. For 2-year survivors (n = 211), the probability of OS for an additional 5 years was 74% with RT + PCV versus 59% with RT alone (HR, 0.52; 95% CI, 0.30 to 0.90; log-rank P = .02).


PFS but not OS was improved for adult patients with LGG receiving RT + PCV versus RT alone. On post hoc analysis, for 2-year survivors, the addition of PCV to RT conferred a survival advantage, suggesting a delayed benefit for chemotherapy.

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