Purpose: To evaluate the activity and toxicity of carmustine (BCNU) and cisplatin administered as a 72-hour continuous intravenous infusion before radiation in adults with newly diagnosed high-grade astrocytomas. Patients and methods: Fifty-two patients with a Karnofsky performance status greater than 60 and no prior antineoplastic therapy entered this protocol. The median age of the patients was 55 years. Eighty-eight percent had glioblastoma multiforme and 12% had anaplastic astrocytomas. BCNU (40 mg/m2/d) and cisplatin (40 mg/m2/d) were administered concurrently as a 72-hour infusion every 3 to 4 weeks. Radiation was begun 4 weeks after the third cycle of chemotherapy or earlier for progressive disease. Responses required a ≤ 50% reduction in contrast-enhancing volume. Results: Forty patients (77%) completed three chemotherapy infusions, five (10%) received two infusions, and seven (13%) received only one. Fifty-one patients completed radiation. Seventeen (42%) patients with measurable disease had a partial response (PR) to chemotherapy, 23 (53%) had stable disease (SD), and two (4%) had progressive disease (PD) on chemotherapy. The median survival time for all patients was 13 months. Survival rates at 1, 2, 3, and 5 years were 62%, 19%, 12%, and 5%, respectively. Grade III to IV leukopenia occurred in 32% of patients; 63% received platelet transfusions and 58% required RBCs. Neutropenic fevers were rare and no intracranial hemorrhages or treatment-related deaths were noted. Nausea, vomiting, peripheral neuropathy, hearing loss, and thromboembolic events were relatively common. Conclusion: This chemotherapy regimen appears to have significant activity and may prolong survival in adults with newly diagnosed high-grade astrocytoma.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research