Suramin and radiotherapy in newly diagnosed glioblastoma: Phase 2 NABTT CNS Consortium study

John J. Laterra, Stuart A. Grossman, Kathryn A. Carson, Glenn J. Lesser, Fred H. Hochberg, Mark R. Gilbert

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

34 Scopus citations


Suramin is a polysulfonated naphthylurea that inhibits the function of growth factors and growth factor receptors implicated in glioma progression, angiogenesis, and radioresistance. The safety and benefits of combining inhibitors of angiogenesis and growth factors with cytotoxic therapies in patients with neoplasms of the central nervous system remain unclear. The objectives of this phase 2 study were to determine the safety of administering suramin with standard cranial radiotherapy (RT) and to estimate survival using this approach in patients with newly diagnosed glioblastoma multiforme (GBM). Fifty-five patients with newly diagnosed GBM (Karnofsky performance status ≥60) were enrolled in this multicenter phase 2 study. Patients received suramin by a conventional intermittent fixed-dosing regimen for 1 week prior to and during cranial RT (60 Gy in 30 fractions, weeks 2-7). Patients with stable or responsive disease at week 18 received an additional 4 weeks of suramin (weeks 19-22). The median survival for suramin-treated patients was 11.6 months, with 1-year and 18-month survival rates of 49% (95% confidence interval [CI], 36%-62%) and 18% (95% CI, 8%-28%), respectively. Overall, 55% of the patients (30/55) had greater than grade 2 toxicity at least possibly related to suramin therapy. Two patients died of possibly related neurologic events (i.e., stroke, elevated intracranial pressure). Otherwise, toxicities were generally transient and self-limited. Administration of suramin using an intermittent fixed-dosing regimen during cranial RT was generally well tolerated. However, overall survival is not significantly improved when compared with the New Approaches to Brain Tumor Therapy GBM database or other comparable patient populations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)15-20
Number of pages6
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2004

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Cancer Research


Dive into the research topics of 'Suramin and radiotherapy in newly diagnosed glioblastoma: Phase 2 NABTT CNS Consortium study'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this