Open Access Research

Phase I study of hypofractionated intensity modulated radiation therapy with concurrent and adjuvant temozolomide in patients with glioblastoma multiforme

Noha Jastaniyah1, Albert Murtha1, Nadeem Pervez1, Duc Le1, Wilson Roa1, Samir Patel1, Marc Mackenzie2, Dorcas Fulton1, Colin Field2, Sunita Ghosh3, Gino Fallone2 and Bassam Abdulkarim14*

Author Affiliations

1 Division of Radiation Oncology, Cross Cancer Institute and University of Alberta, 11560, University Avenue, Edmonton, AB, T6G 1Z2, Canada

2 Medical Physics, Cross Cancer Institute and University of Alberta, 11560, University Avenue, Edmonton, AB, T6G 1Z2, Canada

3 Division of Statistics and Epidemiology, Cross Cancer Institute and University of Alberta, 11560, University Avenue, Edmonton, AB, T6G 1Z2, Canada

4 Department of Oncology, Division of Radiation Oncology, Montreal General Hospital, McGill University, 1650 Avenue Cedar, Montréal, QC, H3G 1A4, Canada

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Radiation Oncology 2013, 8:38  doi:10.1186/1748-717X-8-38

Published: 20 February 2013

Abstract

Purpose

To determine the safety and efficacy of hypofractionated intensity modulated radiation therapy (Hypo-IMRT) using helical tomotherapy (HT) with concurrent low dose temozolomide (TMZ) followed by adjuvant TMZ in patients with glioblastoma multiforme (GBM).

Methods and materials

Adult patients with GBM and KPS > 70 were prospectively enrolled between 2005 and 2007 in this phase I study. The Fibonacci dose escalation protocol was implemented to establish a safe radiation fractionation regimen. The protocol defined radiation therapy (RT) dose level I as 54.4 Gy in 20 fractions over 4 weeks and dose level II as 60 Gy in 22 fractions over 4.5 weeks. Concurrent TMZ followed by adjuvant TMZ was given according to the Stupp regimen. The primary endpoints were feasibility and safety of Hypo-IMRT with concurrent TMZ. Secondary endpoints included progression free survival (PFS), pattern of failure, overall survival (OS) and incidence of pseudoprogression. The latter was defined as clinical or radiological suggestion of tumour progression within three months of radiation completion followed by spontaneous recovery of the patient.

Results

A total of 25 patients were prospectively enrolled with a median follow-up of 12.4 months. The median age at diagnosis was 53 years. Based on recursive partitioning analysis (RPA) criteria, 16%, 52% and 32% of the patients were RPA class III, class IV and class V, respectively. All patients completed concurrent RT and TMZ, and 19 patients (76.0%) received adjuvant TMZ. The median OS was 15.67 months (95% CI 11.56 - 20.04) and the median PFS was 6.7 months (95% CI 4.0 – 14.0). The median time between surgery and start of RT was 44 days (range of 28 to 77 days). Delaying radiation therapy by more than 6 weeks after surgery was an independent prognostic factor associated with a worse OS (4.0 vs. 16.1 months, P = 0.027). All recurrences occurred within 2 cm of the original gross tumour volume (GTV). No cases of pseudoprogression were identified in our cohort of patients. Three patients tolerated dose level I with no dose limiting toxicity and hence the remainder of the patients were treated with dose level II according to the dose escalation protocol. Grade 3–4 hematological toxicity was limited to two patients and one patient developed Grade 4 Pneumocystis jiroveci pneumonia.

Conclusion

Hypo-IMRT using HT given with concurrent TMZ is feasible and safe. The median OS and PFS are comparable to those observed with conventional fractionation. Hypofractionated radiation therapy offers the advantage of a shorter treatment period which is imperative in this group of patients with limited life expectancy.

Keywords:
GBM; Concurrent RT and TMZ; Hypofractionation; IMRT; Phase I study