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J Clin Oncol. 1998 Sep;16(9):2953-8.

Phase II trial of nitrogen mustard, vincristine, and procarbazine in patients with recurrent glioma: North Central Cancer Treatment Group results.

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Mayo Clinic and Mayo Foundation, Rochester, MN 55905, USA.



Previous investigators have reported responses in 52% of patients treated with mechlorethamine (nitrogen mustard), vincristine, and procarbazine (MOP) for recurrent glioma. To confirm these promising results, we conducted a phase II prospective study.


Sixty-three patients with histologic confirmation of recurrent glioma were treated with the MOP regimen. Patients with or without prior chemotherapy received nitrogen mustard 3 mg/m2 or 6 mg/m2, respectively, intravenously on days 1 and 8 plus vincristine 2 mg/m2 intravenously on days 1 and 8, and procarbazine 100 mg/m2 orally on days 1 to 14. Cycles were repeated every 28 days.


Of 61 patients assessable for response, eight responded (13%), with one complete response (CR). Responses were as follows: low-grade gliomas, 19%; anaplastic astrocytomas, 11%; anaplastic oligodendrogliomas or oligoastrocytomas, 25%; and glioblastomas, 4.3%. The most common toxicity was myelosuppression with leukocyte nadirs less than 1,000/microL in 23% and platelet nadirs less than 25,000/microL in 13% of patients. Two patients died of infection in the setting of neutropenia. Nonhematologic toxicity included neurosensory changes in 21% of patients (severe in 3%) and severe dermatologic reactions in 8%. In multivariate analysis, Eastern Cooperative Oncology group (ECOG) performance status (PS) was the best predictor for response to chemotherapy (P=.01) and time to progression (P=.008), while PS and grade were the most important predictors of survival (P=.002 and .05, respectively).


This study did not confirm the high response rate previously reported in recurrent gliomas. Patients with recurrent anaplastic oligodendrogliomas or oligoastrocytomas and recurrent low-grade gliomas had the highest response rates (25% and 19%, respectively). In multivariate analysis, ECOG PS was the best predictor of response, while PS and tumor grade were the most important predictors of survival.

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