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Cancer. 2004 Nov 1;101(9):2079-85.

Efficacy and feasibility of standard procarbazine, lomustine, and vincristine chemotherapy in anaplastic oligodendroglioma and oligoastrocytoma recurrent after radiotherapy. A Phase II study.

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Department of Medical Oncology, Azienda Ospedale-Università of Padova, Padova, Italy.



To the authors' knowledge, there is a scarcity of accurate data regarding the feasibility of standard chemotherapy with procarbazine, lomustine, and vincristine (PCV) in a homogeneous series of patients with primary anaplastic oligodendroglioma (AO) and oligoastrocytoma (AOA) that was recurrent after surgery and standard radiotherapy. The aim of the current study was to evaluate the overall response rate, toxicity, and time to progression (TTP) with the use of standard PCV in this setting.


Between November 1994 and September 2000, 37 patients were enrolled in the current study. Of these, 23 had AO (62%) and 14 had AOA (38%). All patients received standard PCV comprised of lomustine (110 mg/m2) on Day 1, procarbazine (60 mg/m2) on Days 8-21, and vincristine (1.4 mg/m2, maximum total 2 mg) on Days 8 and 29. Cycles were repeated every 6 weeks.


There were 11 complete responses (CR; 29.7%) and 11 partial responses (PR; 29.7%) reported and 8 patients had stable disease (SD; 21.6%). The response rate was higher in patients with AO compared with patients with AOA (77.2% vs. 22.7%; P = 0. 02). The median TTP, which was 12.3 months overall, was 30.3 months in patients who achieved a CR, 19.1 months in patients who achieved a PR, and 6.1 months in patients with SD. The median TTP was 18.6 months in AO patients and 6.14 in AOA patients. There were no cases of severe toxicity reported although in 16 patients (43%) who were free of disease progression, PCV was discontinued because of toxicity or inadequate recovery after 2 weeks of delay.


PCV chemotherapy was reported to achieved a high response rate and TTP but incurred a high risk of persistent toxicity.

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