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  • Author or Editor: Richard L. Davis x
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Victor A. Levin, Charles B. Wilson, Richard Davis, William M. Wara, Tana L. Pischer and Lowell Irwin

✓ This Phase III clinical trial compared the effectiveness of the combination of 1,3-bis(2-chloroethyl)-1-nitrosourea (BCNU), radiation therapy, and hydroxyurea (BHR group) to the combination of BCNU and radiation therapy (BR group) for the treatment of malignant gliomas. In both arms of the study, BCNU was administered intravenously for 3 consecutive days before the initiation of radiation therapy, and at 8-week intervals thereafter until unequivocal tumor progression. In the BHR arm of the study, hydroxyurea was administered orally on alternate days during radiation therapy. Patients in each arm were stratified almost equally by tumor type (glioblastoma multiforme (GM) or other nonglioblastoma multiforme malignant gliomas (NGM)) and extent of surgical resection of tumor. Patients were also evaluated with the Karnofsky Performance Status (KPS) scale. Time to progression was determined by comparing the results of sequential neurological examinations and radionuclide and computerized tomographic scans.

Of the 130 patients entered into the study, 99 constitute the valid study group. Data were analyzed with Kaplan-Meier representations and the statistical methods of Gehan and Cox. The NGM patients with KPS ratings of ≥60 did better on both arms of the study, with median times to tumor progression (MTP's) of 50 and 72 weeks for BHR and BR, respectively. However, GM patients showed statistically significant differences (p = 0.03) between the two arms of the study, with MTP's of 41 and 31 weeks for BHR and BR, respectively. The GM patients with subtotal tumor resection did slightly better on BHR than on BR, with MTP's of 49 weeks (p = 0.03) and 31 weeks for the respective groups.

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Supratentorial malignant gliomas of childhood

Results of treatment with radiation therapy and chemotherapy

Surasak Phuphanich, Michael S. B. Edwards, Victor A. Levin, Pamela S. Vestnys, William M. Wara, Richard L. Davis and Charles B. Wilson

✓ Twenty-seven patients aged 1 to 18 years harboring supratentorial (20 in the cerebrum and seven in the thalamus) malignant gliomas were treated between 1975 and 1982. There were four glioblastomas multiforme, 14 anaplastic astrocytomas, and nine malignant gliomas. All patients had a subtotal resection or biopsy as the initial procedure and received postoperative radiation therapy (RT). Fifteen of 27 patients were treated by RT alone; 14 had tumor progression with a median time to tumor progression (MTP) of 65 weeks. Twelve patients were treated with chemotherapy as an adjuvant to RT; only seven had tumor recurrence, with an MTP of 130 weeks. Of the 21 patients with recurrent tumors in both groups, 18 were treated with chemotherapy alone, or chemotherapy with a second surgical procedure or second course of RT.

For all histological grades of tumor, the MTP for first recurrence was 75 weeks and the median survival time was 180 weeks. Age at initial diagnosis was found to be a statistically significant prognostic factor, with patients younger than 10 years of age surviving longer than patients aged over 10 years (p = 0.02).

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Ali K. Choucair, Victor A. Levin, Philip H. Gutin, Richard L. Davis, Pamela Silver, Michael S. B. Edwards and Charles B. Wilson

✓ To determine the percentage of patients who developed multiple central nervous system (CNS) gliomas during postoperative radiation therapy and chemotherapy, the authors reviewed the records of 1047 patients treated between December 2, 1976, and August 16, 1985, who had an original diagnosis of supratentorial glioblastoma multiforme or other anaplastic glioma. The occurrence of multiple lesions was verified by neurodiagnostic studies (computerized tomography or myelography) or by findings at operation or autopsy. Twelve patients (1.1%) who presented with multiple lesions were excluded from this analysis. There were 405 patients with glioblastoma multiforme; their median age was 46.5 years (range 22 to 70 years). Eighteen (5%) of these patients had multiple CNS lesions, five of which were in the spinal cord. The median time from diagnosis to detection of the second lesion in this group was 59.5 weeks (range 10 to 182 weeks). There were 630 patients with anaplastic glioma (which included mixed malignant glioma and highly anaplastic, gemistocytic, moderately anaplastic, and anaplastic astrocytomas); their median age was 30 years (range 2 to 62 years). Fifty-four (8.6%) of these patients had multiple lesions, 10 of which were in the spinal cord; only one case of extraneural metastasis was found. The median time from diagnosis to detection of the second lesion in this group was 101 weeks (range 14 to 459 weeks). These results show that more than 90% of CNS gliomas recur at the site of the original tumor. Considering the high frequency of intellectual dysfunction after whole-brain radiation therapy, the use of focal radiation fields appears to be the most judicious approach to the treatment of patients with gliomas.

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Takao Hoshino, Luis A. Rodriguez, Kyung G. Cho, Kyu S. Lee, Charles B. Wilson, Michael S. B. Edwards, Victor A. Levin and Richard L. Davis

✓ The proliferative potential of low-grade astrocytomas was estimated in 47 patients. Each patient received an intravenous infusion of bromodeoxyuridine (BUdR), 150 to 200 mg/sq m, at the time of craniotomy to label cells in deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) synthesis; the percentage of S-phase cells, or BUdR labeling index (LI), of each tumor was determined immunohistochemically. In 29 patients (60%), the tumors had BUdR LI's of less than 1%, indicating a slow growth rate; only three (10%) of these patients died of recurrent tumor during a follow-up period of up to 3½ years. In contrast, of the 18 patients (40%) whose tumors had BUdR LI's of 1% or more, 12 (67%) had a recurrence and nine died during the same follow-up period. These results show that the proliferative potential, as reflected by the BUdR LI, is an important prognostic factor that separates low-grade astrocytomas into two groups and provides a more scientific rationale for selecting treatment for individual patients.

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Victor A. Levin, Luis A. Rodriguez, Michael S. B. Edwards, William Wara, Hsiu-Chih Liu, Dorcas Fulton, Richard L. Davis, Charles B. Wilson and Pamela Silver

✓ Forty-seven patients with medulloblastoma were treated postoperatively with procarbazine, followed by craniospinal radiation therapy in combination with hydroxyurea. The radiation dose to the posterior fossa was 55 Gy; the spinal cord received 25 Gy and the whole brain 25 to 35 Gy (mean 33 Gy).

Seventeen tumors recurred. Only one initial recurrence was in the spinal subarachnoid space; 10 (59%) were in the posterior fossa, and four (24%) were supratentorial. The estimated 5-year disease-free survival probability was 55%; the 5-year overall survival rate was 66%. Myelotoxicity occurred in 38% of patients, but in only one case was it severe enough to warrant reducing the total dose of radiation. It was concluded that good-risk medulloblastoma patients may be treated with radiation dosages as low as 25 Gy to the spinal axis and to the whole brain without increasing the risk of recurrence outside the posterior fossa. Chemotherapy with procarbazine followed by radiation therapy and hydroxyurea during radiation therapy was well tolerated and may play a role in reducing radiation dosages outside the posterior fossa.

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Victor A. Levin, William M. Wara, Richard L. Davis, Pamela Vestnys, Kenneth J. Resser, Kathleen Yatsko, Stephen Nutik, Philip H. Gutin and Charles B. Wilson

✓ The authors report the results of a randomized study conducted to evaluate the relative benefit of treatment with 1,3-bis(2-chloroethyl)-1-nitrosourea (BCNU) or the combination of procarbazine, 1-(2-chloroethyl)-3-cyclohexyl-1-nitrosourea, and vincristine (PCV) administered after radiation therapy with hydroxyurea to 76 evaluable patients with glioblastoma multiforme and 72 patients with other anaplastic gliomas. The primary end-point of the study was time to tumor progression. For better-risk patients with Karnofsky performance scores of 70 to 100, results suggest that PCV was of greater benefit than BCNU (p = 0.15 for glioblastoma multiforme; p = 0.13 for other anaplastic gliomas). Median times to tumor progression were 31 and 32 weeks for patients with glioblastoma multiforme; 25th percentile times to progression were 70 and 40 weeks for patients treated with PCV and BCNU, respectively. For patients with other anaplastic gliomas treated with PCV and BCNU, median times to progression were 123 and 77 weeks, respectively. Multivariate analysis showed that the prognostic variables of age and Karnofsky scores were important for patients with glioblastoma multiforme and other anaplastic gliomas, and that the extent of surgical resection was important for those with other anaplastic gliomas.

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Philip H. Gutin, Steven A. Leibel, William M. Wara, Ali Choucair, Victor A. Levin, Theodore L. Philips, Pamela Silver, Vasco Da Silva, Michael S. B. Edwards, Richard L. Davis, Keith A. Weaver and Sharon Lamb

✓ The authors report survival data for the first 41 patients treated for recurrent malignant gliomas with interstitial brachytherapy at the University of California, San Francisco (1980–1984). Iodine-125 (125I) sources were temporarily implanted using stereotaxic techniques. The median survival period for 18 patients with recurrent glioblastomas was 52 weeks after brachytherapy; two patients are alive more than 5 years after brachytherapy. The median survival period for 23 patients with recurrent anaplastic astrocytomas is 153 weeks after brachytherapy, with 10 patients alive more than 3 years and four patients alive more than 4 years after brachytherapy. Both groups did significantly better (p < 0.01) than groups of patients with the same diagnoses and similar general characteristics who were treated at recurrence with chemotherapy alone. Because of deterioration of their clinical condition and evidence of recurrence from computerized tomographic scans, 17 (41%) of 41 patients required reoperation 20 to 72 weeks after brachytherapy. Despite the invariable presence of apparently viable tumor cells mixed with necrotic tissue in the resected specimen, nine patients have survived more than 2 years after reoperation and two of the nine are still alive 4 years after reoperation. The authors conclude that brachytherapy with temporarily implanted 125I sources for well-circumscribed, hemispheric, recurrent malignant gliomas is effective and offers a chance for long-term survival even though focal radiation necrosis can seriously degrade the quality of survival in a minority of patients.