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Eugene J. Vaios, Brian V. Nahed, Alona Muzikansky, Amir T. Fathi and Jorg Dietrich

OBJECTIVE

Glioblastoma (GBM) is a highly aggressive malignancy that requires a multidisciplinary therapeutic approach of surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation therapy, but therapy is frequently limited by side effects. The most common adverse effect of chemotherapy with temozolomide (TMZ) is myelosuppression. It remains unclear whether the degree of bone-marrow suppression might serve as a biomarker for treatment outcome. The aim of the current study was to investigate whether the degree of bone-marrow toxicity in patients treated with TMZ correlates with overall survival (OS) and MRI-based time to progression (progression-free survival [PFS]).

METHODS

Complete blood counts and clinical and imaging information were collected retrospectively from 86 cases involving GBM patients who had completed both radiation therapy and at least 6 monthly cycles of chemotherapy with TMZ.

RESULTS

Using a multivariate Cox proportional hazard model, it was observed that MGMT promoter methylation, wild-type EGFR, younger patient age at diagnosis, and treatment-induced decreases in white blood cell counts were associated with improved OS. The 2-year survival rate was 25% and 58% for patients with increases and decreases, respectively, in white blood cell counts from baseline over 6 months of TMZ treatment. Consistent with the literature, IDH mutation and MGMT promoter methylation were associated with better PFS and OS. IDH mutation and MGMT promoter methylation were not correlated with changes in peripheral red blood cell or white blood cell counts.

CONCLUSIONS

Decreases in white blood cell counts might serve as a potential biomarker for OS and PFS in malignant glioma patients treated with radiation therapy and TMZ. It remains unclear whether treatment-induced changes in white blood cell counts correlate with drug-induced antitumor activity or represent an independent factor of the altered local and systemic tumor environment. Additional studies will be needed to determine dose dependence for chemotherapy based upon peripheral blood counts.

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Manmeet Ahluwalia, Gene H. Barnett, Di Deng, Stephen B. Tatter, Adrian W. Laxton, Alireza M. Mohammadi, Eric Leuthardt, Roukoz Chamoun, Kevin Judy, Anthony Asher, Marco Essig, Jorg Dietrich and Veronica L. Chiang

OBJECTIVE

Laser Ablation After Stereotactic Radiosurgery (LAASR) is a multicenter prospective study of laser interstitial thermal (LITT) ablation in patients with radiographic progression after stereotactic radiosurgery for brain metastases.

METHODS

Patients with a Karnofsky Performance Scale (KPS) score ≥ 60, an age > 18 years, and surgical eligibility were included in this study. The primary outcome was local progression-free survival (PFS) assessed using the Response Assessment in Neuro-Oncology Brain Metastases (RANO-BM) criteria. Secondary outcomes were overall survival (OS), procedure safety, neurocognitive function, and quality of life.

RESULTS

Forty-two patients—19 with biopsy-proven radiation necrosis, 20 with recurrent tumor, and 3 with no diagnosis—were enrolled. The median age was 60 years, 64% of the subjects were female, and the median baseline KPS score was 85. Mean lesion volume was 6.4 cm3 (range 0.4–38.6 cm3). There was no significant difference in length of stay between the recurrent tumor and radiation necrosis patients (median 2.3 vs 1.7 days, respectively). Progression-free survival and OS rates were 74% (20/27) and 72%, respectively, at 26 weeks. Thirty percent of subjects were able to stop or reduce steroid usage by 12 weeks after surgery. Median KPS score, quality of life, and neurocognitive results did not change significantly for either group over the duration of survival. Adverse events were also similar for the two groups, with no significant difference in the overall event rate. There was a 12-week PFS and OS advantage for the radiation necrosis patients compared with the recurrent tumor or tumor progression patients.

CONCLUSIONS

In this study, in which enrolled patients had few alternative options for salvage treatment, LITT ablation stabilized the KPS score, preserved quality of life and cognition, had a steroid-sparing effect, and was performed safely in the majority of cases.

Clinical trial registration no.: NCT01651078 (clinicaltrials.gov)