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Michael D. Walker, Eben Alexander Jr., William E. Hunt, Carl M. Leventhal, M. Stephen Mahaley Jr., John Mealey, Horace A. Norrell, Guy Owens, Joseph Ransohoff, Charles B. Wilson, and Edmund A. Gehan

✓ A controlled, prospective, randomized study evaluated the use of mithramycin in the treatment of anaplastic glioma compared to a similar group of patients receiving best conventional care. From a total of 116 patients in the study, 96 were within the valid study group. All patients were operated on, had histological confirmation of anaplastic glioma, and received radiotherapy at the discretion of the principal investigator. Fifty-two patients received mithramycin at a dose of 25 µg/kg/day for 21 days, while 44 patients were in the control group. There was no significant difference in the median survival from time of randomization in those receiving mithramycin (21 weeks) as compared to those not receiving mithramycin (26 weeks). There was no significant difference between the two groups in relation to age distribution, sex, location, diagnosis, tumor characteristics, signs or symptoms, or radiotherapy received. Duration of symptoms correlates positively with survival and was also significantly longer in the control group than in the treated group. This, however, did not account for the failure of mithramycin to be found an effective agent. Although the study was not designed to evaluate the efficacy of radiotherapy, patients who were so treated had a significant improvement in survival. The toxic complications of mithramycin included gastrointestinal symptoms, dermatological involvement, anemia, and liver dysfunction, indicating the need for close supervision.