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Br J Cancer. 2002 Jan 21;86(2):207-12.

Pretargeted adjuvant radioimmunotherapy with yttrium-90-biotin in malignant glioma patients: a pilot study.

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Division of Nuclear Medicine, European Institute of Oncology, via Ripamonti 435, I-20141, Milano, Italy.


In a previous study we applied a three-step avidin-biotin pretargeting approach to target 90Y-biotin to the tumour in patients with recurrent high grade glioma. The encouraging results obtained in this phase I-II study prompted us to apply the same approach in an adjuvant setting, to evaluate (i) time to relapse and (ii) overall survival. We enrolled 37 high grade glioma patients, 17 with grade III glioma and 20 with glioblastoma, in a controlled open non-randomized study. All patients received surgery and radiotherapy and were disease-free by neuroradiological examinations. Nineteen patients (treated) received adjuvant treatment with radioimmunotherapy. In the treated glioblastoma patients, median disease-free interval was 28 months (range=9-59); median survival was 33.5 months and one patient is still without evidence of disease. All 12 control glioblastoma patients died after a median survival from diagnosis of 8 months. In the treated grade III glioma patients median disease-free interval was 56 months (range=15-60) and survival cannot be calculated as only two, within this group, died. Three-step radioimmunotherapy promises to have an important role as adjuvant treatment in high grade gliomas, particularly in glioblastoma where it impedes progression, prolonging time to relapse and overall survival. A further randomized trial is justified.

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