Results from a Phase III clinical study presented by Jan Buckner, M.D., deputy director, practice, Mayo Clinic Cancer Center, during the Society for Neuro-Oncology’s 19th Annual Meeting in Miami, showed that administering a chemotherapy combination of procarbazine, CCNU, and vincristine after radiation therapy, can improve progression-free survival and overall survival in patients diagnosed with low-grade gliomas, versus radiation therapy alone.
“On average, patients who received PCV lived 5.5 years longer than those who received radiation alone. These findings build on results published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology in 2012 and presented at the 2014 annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology, which showed that PCV given with radiation therapy at the time of initial diagnosis prolongs progression free-survival but not overall survival”, Dr. Buckner said in a press release.
Gliomas are a type of brain tumor that arises from the brain or spinal cord, and are considered the most usual type of primary brain tumor.
Until the end of this year, around 23,000 people are expected to be diagnosed with primary brain tumors in the United States, according to the American Cancer Society, of which 10 to 15% will be classified as low-grade gliomas.
This clinical trial (RTOG 9802) studied 251 patients who were diagnosed with low-grade gliomas, between the period of October 1998 and June 2002, with the intent to evaluate the role of chemotherapy following radiation treatment.
The patients who participated in the study were considered to be at high risk compared to other low-grade glioma patients, since they were older than 40 years of age or had a non-complete surgical removal of their tumor if younger than 40 years of age.
Furthermore, patients who suffered with oligodendroglioma had an improved outcome when compared to those diagnosed with with astrocytoma or oligoastrocytoma.
“RTOG 9802 involved a network of investigators across the United States and Canada working through the National Cancer Institute’s National Clinical Trials Network. This trial could only have been conducted through a publicly-funded national clinical trials network,” Dr. Buckner concluded.
During the meeting, Dr. Buckner explained that future research should address the genetic composition of tumor tissue samples from study participants, in order to identify possible biomarkers for specific personalized therapies.