A Comparative Study of Survival Rate in High Grade Glioma Tumors Being Treated by Radiotherapy Alone Versus Chemoradiation With Nitrosourea

  •  Mohammad Houshyari    
  •  Farzaneh Hajalikhani    
  •  Afshin Rakhsha    
  •  Parastoo Hajian    


BACKGROUND: In adults, malignant glioma (high-grade glioma) is one of the most common brain tumors. In spite of different types of treatment, the outcome is still not likely to be favorable. The aim of this study was to determine the difference between survival rate in adult patients with high grade glioma treated by radiotherapy only and those treated by a combination of radiotherapy and nitrosurea-based chemotherapy.

METHODS: This study was conducted using the records of 48 patients with grade 3 or 4 of glial brain tumor referred to the radiation-oncology ward of Shohada-e-Tajrish Hospital in Tehran, Iran from 2005 to 2012. The patients had undergone radiotherapy alone or adjuvant chemoradiation with nitrosourea. The median survival of patients after receiving the different types of treatment were evaluated using the Kaplan –Meier method and the log –rank exam. Data were analyzed using univariate analysis for median survival regarding to the patients’ age, gender, extent of surgery, Karnofsky performance status (KPS) with the Kaplan-Meier method, and the log-rank exam. We used the Cox-model for multivariate analysis.

RESULTS: Records of 48 patients were studied (34 men and 14 women). The mean survival were 18 months for men and 15.2 months for women (P = 0.05). Around 58% (28 patients) were more than 50 years old, and 42% (20 patients) were less than 50, and mean survival for the two age groups were 13 and 20 months, respectively (P < 0.001). Then, the patients were divided into three groups according to the extent of surgery, i.e., excisional biopsy (11 patients), stereotactic biopsy (22 patients), and resection (15 patients), and the mean survival for the three groups were 14.7, 17.3, and 18.8 months, respectively. There was no significant statistical difference for mean survival between the three groups (P = 0.23). The KPS was greater than 70% in 23 patients and less than 70% in 21 patients, and the mean survival for the former and latter groups were 17.6 and 16 months, respectively (P = 0.67), four patients had unknown KPS. Twenty patients received only radiotherapy, and chemoradiation was done for 28 patients, and the mean survival for the former and latter patients were 14.5 and 19 months, respectively (P = 0.15).

CONCLUSION: In this study, we concluded that age was the only effective factor in the survival of the patients and that chemotherapy had no significant effect on the survival of the patients.

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