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Radiother Oncol. 2003 Apr;67(1):45-51.

Radiotherapy and chemotherapy with or without carbogen and nicotinamide in inoperable biopsy-proven glioblastoma multiforme.

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Department of Radiation Oncology, Hôpital de la Pitié-Salpêtrière, Hôpitaux de Paris, 47/83 Boulevard de l'hôpital, 75651 Cedex 13, Paris, France.



Nicotinamide and carbogen have been shown to enhance the radiation effect in tumour models.


Prospective evaluation of the toxicity and efficacy of carbogen and nicotinamide with external beam radiotherapy in the management of inoperable glioblastoma.


From April 1995 to December 1997, 33 patients with inoperable biopsy-proven glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) were enrolled in a phase II trial, to undergo radiotherapy (59.4 Gy in 1.8 Gy/fraction), intra-arterial cerebral chemotherapy (ACNU 100 mg/m(2), three cycles), carbogen breathing (15 l/min), and nicotinamide (85 mg/kg). This experimental group was compared to a control group of 38 patients with inoperable GBM treated with radiotherapy and three cycles of nitrosourea-based chemotherapy from January 1990 to March 1995, in our institution.


In the experimental group, carbogen breathing was well tolerated, but only 51.5% of patients completed daily nicotinamide over the 6.5-week treatment period. Nausea and vomiting were the most frequent side effects of nicotinamide. No significant difference in overall survival was observed among the two treatment groups: median survival times were 36.7 and 35.3 weeks for patients treated with carbogen and nicotinamide, and for those treated in the control group, respectively.


The association of carbogen and nicotinamide with radiotherapy is feasible, but tolerable only in 51.5% of patients with GBM. Carbogen and nicotinamide did not appear to modify the evolution of glioblastoma.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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