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Int J Clin Oncol. 2015 Aug;20(4):650-8. doi: 10.1007/s10147-014-0769-0. Epub 2014 Nov 19.

A Phase III study of radiation therapy (RT) and O⁶-benzylguanine + BCNU versus RT and BCNU alone and methylation status in newly diagnosed glioblastoma and gliosarcoma: Southwest Oncology Group (SWOG) study S0001.

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Neuro-oncology Service, Department of Oncology, Tel-Aviv Sourasky Medical Center-Tel-Aviv University, 6 Weizmann Street, 64239, Tel Aviv, Israel,



To determine the efficacy of methylguanine methyltransferase (MGMT) depletion + BCNU [1,3-bis(2-chloroethyl)-1- nitrosourea: carmustine] therapy and the impact of methylation status in adults with glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) and gliosarcoma.


Methylation analysis was performed on GBM patients with adequate tissue samples. Patients with newly diagnosed GBM or gliosarcoma were eligible for this Phase III open-label clinical trial. At registration, patients were randomized to Arm 1, which consisted of therapy with O(6)-benzylguanine (O(6)-BG) + BCNU 40 mg/m(2) (reduced dose) + radiation therapy (RT) (O6BG + BCNU arm), or Arm 2, which consisted of therapy with BCNU 200 mg/m(2) + RT (BCNU arm).


A total of 183 patients with newly diagnosed GBM or gliosarcoma from 42 U.S. institutions were enrolled in this study. Of these, 90 eligible patients received O(6)-BG + BCNU + RT and 89 received BCNU + RT. The trial was halted at the first interim analysis in accordance with the guidelines for stopping the study due to futility (<40 % improvement among patients on the O6BG + BCNU arm). Following adjustment for stratification factors, there was no significant difference in overall survival (OS) or progression-free survival (PFS) between the two groups (one sided p = 0.94 and p = 0.88, respectively). Median OS was 11 [95 % confidence interval (CI) 8-13] months for patients in the O6BG + BCNU arm and 10 (95 % CI 8-12) months for those in the BCNU arm. PFS was 4 months for patients in each arm. Adverse events were reported in both arms, with significantly more grade 4 and 5 events in the experimental arm.


The addition of O(6)-BG to the standard regimen of radiation and BCNU for the treatment patients with newly diagnosed GBM and gliosarcoma did not provide added benefit and in fact caused additional toxicity.


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