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J Neurooncol. 2013 Jul;113(3):397-401. doi: 10.1007/s11060-013-1125-3. Epub 2013 Apr 6.

Efficacy and safety of second-line fotemustine in elderly patients with recurrent glioblastoma.

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Clinica di Oncologia Medica, AOU Ospedali Riuniti, Università Politecnica delle Marche, via Tronto 10/A, 60100 Ancona, Italy.


Fotemustine (FTM) is a common treatment option for glioblastoma patients refractory to temozolomide (TMZ). Although elderly patients represent a large component of glioblastoma population, the feasibility and the efficacy of second-line FTM are not available in those patients.We retrospectively analyzed the records of glioblastoma patients older than 65 years, receiving FTM at a dose of 70-100 mg/m(2) of FTM every week for 3 consecutive weeks (induction phase) and then every 3 weeks (70-100 mg/m(2)), as second-line treatment.Between January 2004 and December 2011, 65 glioblastoma patients (median age, 70 years; range, 65-79 years) were eligible for this analysis. Sixty-five patients received a total of 364 FTM cycles, with a median of 4 cycles for each patient. After induction, we observed 1 complete response (1.5 %), 12 partial responses (18.5 %), 18 stable diseases (27.7 %), and 34 patients' progressions (47.7 %). Disease control rate was 43.1 %. Median survival from the beginning of FTM therapy was 7.1 months, while the median progression-free survival was 4.2 months, and the 6-months progression free survival rate was 35.4 %. The most relevant grade 3-4 toxicity events were thrombocytopenia (15.3 %) and neutropenia (9.2 %). In the univariate and multivariate analysis, time from radiotherapy to FTM, number of TMZ and FTM cycles and disease control resulted independent prognostic factors.This study showed that FTM is a valuable therapeutic option for elderly glioblastoma patients, with a safe toxicity profile.

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