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News » Filed under: Brain/CNS Tumors In Adults

Study: Additional Treatment Helps Some Patients with Rare Brain Tumor Live Longer

Article date: February 7, 2012

By Stacy Simon

In a clinical trial, adding chemotherapy to radiation nearly doubled the survival time for some patients with a rare brain tumor called oligodendroglioma. The patients who benefited had an abnormality – called the 1p19q co-deletion – in the chromosomes of the tumor. About half of oligodendroglioma patients have the co-deletion.

The trial began in 1994 and involved 291 people with an aggressive form of oligodendroglioma. Patients with the co-deletion who were treated with chemotherapy and radiation survived for an average of about 14 ½ years, while those who were treated with radiation alone survived for an average of about 7 ½ years. Patients without the co-deletion survived for about 2 ½ years, whether they received chemotherapy and radiation, or radiation alone.

The study was led by the Radiation Therapy Oncology Group (RTOG) and has been submitted for presentation at the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) meeting in June, 2012. The researchers took the unusual step of announcing the findings before the meeting in order to get the results out to doctors and their patients as soon as possible. Because the study has not yet been published in a peer-reviewed medical journal, the results can’t be considered final.

Researcher Bhupinder Mann, MBBS, a clinical investigator with the National Cancer Institute, said the findings have changed the standard of care for patients with the co-deletion. Dr. Mann said, “This is a relatively rare form of brain cancer. It’s a big result that the survival doubled.”

The findings have already had an impact on 2 ongoing trials that are studying treatments for brain tumors. In the trials, called CATNON and CODEL, all patients with the co-deletion are now being treated with chemotherapy and radiation.

Reviewed by: Members of the ACS Medical Content Staff

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