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J Clin Oncol. 2003 Sep 1;21(17):3276-84.

Neuro-Oncology Working Group 01 trial of nimustine plus teniposide versus nimustine plus cytarabine chemotherapy in addition to involved-field radiotherapy in the first-line treatment of malignant glioma.

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1
Department of Neurology, University of Tübingen, Medical School, Hoppe-Seyler-Strasse 3, 72076 Tübingen, Germany. michael.weller@uni-tuebingen.de.

Abstract

PURPOSE:

The role of chemotherapy in the primary treatment of malignant glioma remains controversial. The results from the German-Austrian Glioma trial (GAG, 1983 to 1988) demonstrated a survival benefit for chemotherapy using carmustine (BCNU) plus teniposide (VM26) over BCNU alone in addition to radiotherapy in patients with a Karnofsky performance score (KPS) more than 60. The Neuro-Oncology Working Group (NOA) of the German Cancer Society therefore compared the efficacy of nimustine (ACNU) plus VM26 and ACNU plus cytarabine (Ara-C) chemotherapy in addition to standard radiotherapy in patients with newly diagnosed malignant glioma.

PATIENTS AND METHODS:

From 1994 to 2000, 375 patients were randomly assigned to receive radiotherapy and cycles of ACNU 90 mg/m2 intravenously (IV) on day 1 and VM26 60 mg/m2 IV on days 1 to 3 (n = 183), or ACNU 90 mg/m2 IV on day 1 and Ara-C 120 mg/m2 IV on days 1 to 3 (n = 179), in 6-week intervals. Thirteen patients were not eligible after central neuropathology review. The remaining 362 patients had glioblastoma (n = 301) or anaplastic glioma (n = 61).

RESULTS:

Median survival and 2-year survival rates were 17.3 months and 25% for ACNU plus VM26, and 15.7 months and 29% for ACNU plus Ara-C in glioblastoma, and 60 months and 88% for ACNU plus VM26 and 62.5 months and 72% for ACNU plus Ara-C in anaplastic glioma. Multivariate analysis revealed no survival advantage for either arm or for subpopulations defined by histology, age, or KPS. Hematologic toxicity was more prominent in the ACNU plus Ara-C arm.

CONCLUSION:

The median survival times and 2-year survival rates for patients with anaplastic glioma and glioblastoma achieved in the NOA-01 trial compare favorably with historical trials and with the Radiation Therapy Oncology Group database. The toxicity profile favors ACNU plus VM26 for further evaluation.

PMID:
12947063
DOI:
10.1200/JCO.2003.03.509
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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