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Clin Cancer Res. 2005 Oct 1;11(19 Pt 1):6767-71.

Food and Drug Administration Drug approval summary: temozolomide plus radiation therapy for the treatment of newly diagnosed glioblastoma multiforme.

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  • 1Division of Oncology Drug Products, Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, US Food and Drug Administration, Rockville, Maryland 20857, USA.


On March 15, 2005, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved temozolomide (Temodar capsules, Schering-Plough Research Institute) for the treatment of adult patients with newly diagnosed glioblastoma multiforme concomitantly with radiotherapy and then as maintenance treatment. Five hundred seventy-three glioblastoma multiforme patients were randomized to receive either temozolomide + radiotherapy (n = 287) or radiotherapy alone (n = 286). Patients in the temozolomide + radiotherapy arm received concomitant temozolomide (75 mg/m2) once daily for the duration of radiation therapy (42-49 days). This was followed, 4 weeks later, by six cycles of temozolomide, 150 or 200 mg/m2 daily for 5 days, every 4 weeks. Patients in the control arm received radiotherapy only. In both arms, radiotherapy was delivered as 60 Gy/30 fractions to the tumor site with a 2 to 3 cm margin. Pneumocystis carinii pneumonia prophylaxis was required during temozolomide + radiotherapy treatment and was continued until recovery of lymphocytopenia (Common Toxicity Criteria grade <1). At disease progression, temozolomide salvage treatment was given to 161 of 282 patients (57%) in the radiotherapy alone arm, and to 62 of 277 patients (22%) in the temozolomide + radiotherapy arm. Patients receiving concomitant and maintenance temozolomide + radiotherapy had significantly improved overall survival. The hazard ratio was 0.63 (95% confidence interval, 0.52-0.75; log-rank, P < 0.0001). Median survival was 14.6 months (temozolomide + radiotherapy) versus 12.1 months (radiotherapy alone). Adverse events during temozolomide treatment included thrombocytopenia, nausea, vomiting, anorexia, constipation, alopecia, headache, fatigue, and convulsions.

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