Pulsed radiation therapy for the treatment of newly diagnosed glioblastoma.
BACKGROUND: Pulsed radiation therapy (PRT) has shown effective tumor control and superior normal-tissue sparing ability compared with standard radiotherapy (SRT) in preclinical models and retrospective clinical series. This is the first prospective trial to investigate PRT in the treatment of patients with newly diagnosed glioblastoma (GBM).
METHODS: This is a single-arm, prospective study. Patients with newly diagnosed GBM underwent surgery, followed by 60 Gy of PRT with concurrent temozolomide (TMZ). Each day, a 2-Gy fraction was divided into ten 0.2-Gy pulses, separated by 3-minute intervals. Patients received maintenance TMZ. Neurocognitive function (NCF) and quality of life (QoL) were monitored for 2 years using the Hopkins Verbal Learning Test‒Revised and the European Organisation for Research and Treatment of Cancer QLQ-C30 QoL questionnaire. Change in NCF was evaluated based on a minimal clinically important difference (MCID) threshold of 0.5 standard deviation.
RESULTS: Twenty patients were enrolled with a median follow-up of 21 months. Median age was 60 years. Forty percent underwent subtotal resection, and 60% underwent gross total resection. One patient had an isocitrate dehydrogenase (IDH)-mutated tumor. Median progression-free survival (PFS) and overall survival (OS) were 10.7 and 20.9 months, respectively. In a post-hoc comparison, median OS for the prospective cohort was longer, compared with a matched cohort receiving SRT (20.9 vs 14 mo, P = 0.042). There was no decline in QoL, and changes in NCF scores did not meet the threshold of an MCID.
CONCLUSIONS: Treatment of newly diagnosed GBM with PRT is feasible and produces promising effectiveness while maintaining neurocognitive function and QoL. Validation of our results in a larger prospective trial warrants consideration.
Almahariq MF, Quinn TJ, Arden JD, Roskos PT, Wilson GD, Marples B, Grills IS, Chen PY, Krauss DJ, Chinnaiyan P, Dilworth JT. Pulsed radiation therapy for the treatment of newly diagnosed glioblastoma. Neuro Oncol. 2021 Mar 25;23(3):447-456. doi: 10.1093/neuonc/noaa165. PMID: 32658268; PMCID: PMC7992887.