Improved treatment of a brain-tumor model

Part 1: Advantages of single- over multiple-dose BCNU schedules

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  • 1 Department of Neurological Surgery, Brain Tumor Research Center, University of California, San Francisco, California
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✓ Clonogenic cell and animal survival studies were used to determine the most effective BCNU therapy schedule in the 9L rat brain-tumor model. Survival of tumor cells following a single LD10 dose of BCNU (13.3 mg/kg intraperitoneally) was compared to cell survival after one to four daily 0.5 × LD10 doses. The posttreatment kinetics of surviving clonogenic cells were investigated at various times after BCNU was given in single doses of 0.25 to 1 × LD10 and in two daily doses of 0.5 × LD10. The cell kill was greater, time to reinitiation of cell growth was later, posttreatment rate of clonogenic cell proliferation was slower, and the interval to total repopulation of the clonogenic cell pool was longer with a single LD10 dose as compared to the multiple-dose schedules. Animal survival studies confirmed that a single LD10 dose of BCNU was at least as effective as a cumulative level of up to 1½ times that amount when treatment was administered in smaller doses, regardless of the fractionation schedule.

Clinical experience with patients harboring malignant brain tumors has shown that a single BCNU dose of 185 to 200 mg/sq m is tolerated well. Results of these animal experiments suggest that this therapy should have anti-tumor activity at least equivalent to the more commonly employed schedule of 80 mg/sq m/day given for 3 days. Although direct comparison of treatment efficacy using the two schedules is not possible, no adverse clinical effects have been observed with the recently adopted single-dose schedule. Furthermore, the duration of patient hospitalization for chemotherapy has decreased.

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