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"An alkylating agent of value against both hematologic malignancies and solid tumors." (MeSH 2013)

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Web Resources: Lomustine
Latest Research Publications

Web Resources: Lomustine (6 links)

Latest Research Publications

This list of publications is regularly updated (Source: PubMed).

Staberg M, Michaelsen SR, Rasmussen RD, et al.
Inhibition of histone deacetylases sensitizes glioblastoma cells to lomustine.
Cell Oncol (Dordr). 2017; 40(1):21-32 [PubMed] Related Publications
PURPOSE: Glioblastoma (GBM) ranks among the deadliest solid cancers worldwide and its prognosis has remained dismal, despite the use of aggressive chemo-irradiation treatment regimens. Limited drug delivery into the brain parenchyma and frequent resistance to currently available therapies are problems that call for a prompt development of novel therapeutic strategies. While only displaying modest efficacies as mono-therapy in pre-clinical settings, histone deacetylase inhibitors (HDACi) have shown promising sensitizing effects to a number of cytotoxic agents. Here, we sought to investigate the sensitizing effect of the HDACi trichostatin A (TSA) to the alkylating agent lomustine (CCNU), which is used in the clinic for the treatment of GBM.
METHODS: Twelve primary GBM cell cultures grown as neurospheres were used in this study, as well as one established GBM-derived cell line (U87 MG). Histone deacetylase (HDAC) expression levels were determined using quantitative real-time PCR and Western blotting. The efficacy of either CCNU alone or its combination with TSA was assessed using various assays, i.e., cell viability assays (MTT), cell cycle assays (flow cytometry, FACS), double-strand DNA break (DSB) quantification assays (microscopy/immunofluorescence) and expression profiling assays of proteins involved in apoptosis and cell stress (Western blotting and protein array).
RESULTS: We found that the HDAC1, 3 and 6 expression levels were significantly increased in GBM samples compared to non-neoplastic brain control samples. Additionally, we found that pre-treatment of GBM cells with TSA resulted in an enhancement of their sensitivity to CCNU, possibly via the accumulation of DSBs, decreased cell proliferation and viability rates, and an increased apoptotic rate.
CONCLUSION: From our data we conclude that the combined administration of TSA and CCNU eradicates GBM cells with a higher efficacy than either drug alone, thereby opening a novel avenue for the treatment of GBM.

Fisusi FA, Siew A, Chooi KW, et al.
Lomustine Nanoparticles Enable Both Bone Marrow Sparing and High Brain Drug Levels - A Strategy for Brain Cancer Treatments.
Pharm Res. 2016; 33(5):1289-303 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
PURPOSE: The blood brain barrier compromises glioblastoma chemotherapy. However high blood concentrations of lipophilic, alkylating drugs result in brain uptake, but cause myelosuppression. We hypothesised that nanoparticles could achieve therapeutic brain concentrations without dose-limiting myelosuppression.
METHODS: Mice were dosed with either intravenous lomustine Molecular Envelope Technology (MET) nanoparticles (13 mg kg(-1)) or ethanolic lomustine (6.5 mg kg(-1)) and tissues analysed. Efficacy was assessed in an orthotopic U-87 MG glioblastoma model, following intravenous MET lomustine (daily 13 mg kg(-1)) or ethanolic lomustine (daily 1.2 mg kg(-1) - the highest repeated dose possible). Myelosuppression and MET particle macrophage uptake were also investigated.
RESULTS: The MET formulation resulted in modest brain targeting (brain/ bone AUC0-4h ratios for MET and ethanolic lomustine = 0.90 and 0.53 respectively and brain/ liver AUC0-4h ratios for MET and ethanolic lomustine = 0.24 and 0.15 respectively). The MET formulation significantly increased mice (U-87 MG tumours) survival times; with MET lomustine, ethanolic lomustine and untreated mean survival times of 33.2, 22.5 and 21.3 days respectively and there were no material treatment-related differences in blood and femoral cell counts. Macrophage uptake is slower for MET nanoparticles than for liposomes.
CONCLUSIONS: Particulate drug formulations improved brain tumour therapy without major bone marrow toxicity.

Khattry N, Gupta A, Jain R, et al.
LACE versus BEAM conditioning in relapsed and refractory lymphoma transplant: retrospective multicenter analysis of toxicity and efficacy.
Int J Hematol. 2016; 103(3):292-8 [PubMed] Related Publications
We compared the lomustine, cytarabine, cyclophosphamide and etoposide (LACE) and BCNU, etoposide, cytarabine, melphalan (BEAM) conditioning regimens for toxicity, engraftment kinetics, and efficacy in 139 patients undergoing autologous hematopoietic stem cell transplant for primary refractory or relapsed lymphoma. Ninety-two patients with Hodgkin lymphoma and 47 with non-Hodgkin lymphoma were enrolled. Seventy-five patients received LACE while 64 received BEAM. The incidence of grade 3-4 oral mucositis (9 vs 38%; P < 0.001) and parenteral nutrition requirement (32 vs 69%; P < 0.001) were significantly lower in the LACE cohort. The median days to myeloid (10 vs 11; P = 0.007) and platelet engraftment (13 vs 15; P = 0.026) were shorter for the LACE cohort. Transplant-related mortality in the LACE group was 9% compared to 13% in patients treated with BEAM (P = NS). The probability of overall survival (OS) and progression-free survival (PFS) at 5 years for entire cohort was 46 and 41%, respectively. Probability of OS (LACE 46% vs BEAM 47%; P = NS) and PFS (LACE 37% vs BEAM 47%; P = NS) at 5 years was comparable between two groups. We conclude that LACE has better toxicity profile compared to BEAM and results in similar long-term survival in primary refractory or relapsed lymphoma transplant.

Webre C, Shonka N, Smith L, et al.
PC or PCV, That Is the Question: Primary Anaplastic Oligodendroglial Tumors Treated with Procarbazine and CCNU With and Without Vincristine.
Anticancer Res. 2015; 35(10):5467-72 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: While procarbazine with 1-(2-chloroethyl)-3-cyclohexyl-1-nitrosourea (PC) added to vincristine (PCV) was proven beneficial in the treatment of co-deleted anaplastic oligodendroglioma (AO), the question of whether PC alone is sufficient is important, as vincristine adds toxicity with uncertain benefit. This retrospective study provides a comparison of PC and PCV.
PATIENTS AND METHODS: Patients diagnosed with AO treated at the M.D. Anderson Cancer Center from June 1, 1993 to October 13, 2009 were selected from the database and were eligible if diagnosed with a primary AO and treated with either PC or PCV at some point. Ninety-seven patients were treated with such chemotherapy before first progression.
RESULTS: Initial treatment included radiation and chemotherapy (81.4%) or chemotherapy alone (18.6%). Twenty-one patients (21.6%) received PC during primary treatment, while 76 patients (78.4%) received PCV. Eleven patients reported neurotoxicity in the PCV arm vs. none in the PC arm. Out of the 97 patients, 45 were alive at last contact, with a median follow-up of 9.9 years. The median overall survival was 6.5 years (95% confidence interval=4.8-16.7 years), while the median progression-free survival was 2.9 years (95% confidence interval=2.0-6.3 years); these differences were not significant (p=0.61 and p=0.28, respectively).
CONCLUSION: Initial therapy with PC achieved comparable results to those of PCV with a median follow-up of 9.9 years. Neurotoxicity was more frequent with vincristine. Although selecting only for patients with AO, rather than those with mixed histology, increased the likelihood of selecting for patients with tumors with co-deletions, further studies with correlative co-deletion status are required.

Kaloshi G, Roci E, Rroji A, et al.
Kinetic evaluation of low-grade gliomas in adults before and after treatment with CCNU alone.
J Neurosurg. 2015; 123(5):1244-6 [PubMed] Related Publications
OBJECT: The aim of this study was to evaluate the impact of CCNU chemotherapy alone on low-grade glioma (LGG) growth dynamics.
METHODS: The authors measured the evolution of the mean tumor diameter (MTD) in adult patients with LGG before (n=28 patients) and after (n=38 patients) CCNU administration.
RESULTS: Natural (spontaneous) growth of LGG in the present study was 4.3 mm/year (range 2.1-6.6 mm/year). The median MTD decrease after CCNU was 5.1 mm/year (range 1-8.9 mm/year). MTD decrease was noted in 30 patients (late decrease in 4 patients, and ongoing decrease in 24 patients with oligodendroglial tumors and 2 with astrocytic tumors). The median duration it took for the MTD to decrease after initiation of CCNU treatment was 619 days (1038 days for oligodendroglial tumors vs 377 days for astrocytic tumors; p=0.003).
CONCLUSIONS: These results show that CCNU as a single agent has a significant impact on LGG tumor growth. The impact of CCNU seems to be comparable to the previously reported impact of temozolomide therapy and of combined procarbazine, CCNU, and vincristine chemotherapy.

Beije N, Kraan J, Taal W, et al.
Prognostic value and kinetics of circulating endothelial cells in patients with recurrent glioblastoma randomised to bevacizumab plus lomustine, bevacizumab single agent or lomustine single agent. A report from the Dutch Neuro-Oncology Group BELOB trial.
Br J Cancer. 2015; 113(2):226-31 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Angiogenesis is crucial for glioblastoma growth, and anti-vascular endothelial growth factor agents are widely used in recurrent glioblastoma patients. The number of circulating endothelial cells (CECs) is a surrogate marker for endothelial damage. We assessed their kinetics and explored their prognostic value in patients with recurrent glioblastoma.
METHODS: In this side study of the BELOB trial, 141 patients with recurrent glioblastoma were randomised to receive single-agent bevacizumab or lomustine, or bevacizumab plus lomustine. Before treatment, after 4 weeks and after 6 weeks of treatment, CECs were enumerated.
RESULTS: The number of CECs increased during treatment with bevacizumab plus lomustine, but not during treatment in the single-agent arms. In patients treated with lomustine single agent, higher absolute CEC numbers after 4 weeks (log₁₀CEC hazard ratio (HR) 0.41, 95% CI 0.18-0.91) and 6 weeks (log₁₀CEC HR 0.16, 95% CI 0.05-0.56) of treatment were associated with improved overall survival (OS). Absolute CEC numbers in patients receiving bevacizumab plus lomustine or bevacizumab single agent were not associated with OS.
CONCLUSION: CEC numbers increased during treatment with bevacizumab plus lomustine but not during treatment with either agent alone, suggesting that this combination induced the greatest vascular damage. Although the absolute number of CECs was not associated with OS in patients treated with bevacizumab either alone or in combination, they could serve as a marker in glioblastoma patients receiving lomustine single agent.

Chamberlain MC
Salvage therapy with lomustine for temozolomide refractory recurrent anaplastic astrocytoma: a retrospective study.
J Neurooncol. 2015; 122(2):329-38 [PubMed] Related Publications
There is no standard therapy for recurrent anaplastic astrocytoma (AA). Assess response and toxicity of lomustine (CCNU) in recurrent AA following prior surgery, radiotherapy and TMZ in a retrospective case series. Thirty-five adults (18 males; 17 females: median age 42.5 years) with TMZ refractory recurrent AA were treated with lomustine. Seven patients were treated at 1st recurrence and 28 patients were treated at 2nd recurrence. Prior salvage therapy included re-resection in 19, TMZ in 20 and radiotherapy in 7. A cycle of lomustine was defined as 110 mg/m(2) on day 1 only administered once every 6-8 weeks. Success of treatment was defined as progression free survival at 6 months of 40 % or better. Grade 3 or 4 toxicities included anemia (14 patients), constipation (1), fatigue (4), lymphopenia (5), nausea/vomiting (2), neutropenia (8) and thrombocytopenia (10). No grade five toxicities were seen. The median number of cycles of therapy was 3 (range 1-6). Best radiographic response was progressive disease in 14 (40 %), stable disease in 19 (54 %) and partial response in 2 (5.7 %). Median progression free survival (PFS) was 4.5 months (range 1.5-12 months), 6-month PFS was 40 % and 12 month PFS was 11.4 %. Median survival after onset of CCNU was 9.5 months (range 2.5-15 months). Median overall survival was 2.7 years (range 1.7-4.3). In this small retrospective series of patients with recurrent AA refractory to TMZ, lomustine appears to have modest single agent with manageable toxicity. Confirmation in a larger series of similar patients is required.

Harvey KA, Xu Z, Saaddatzadeh MR, et al.
Enhanced anticancer properties of lomustine in conjunction with docosahexaenoic acid in glioblastoma cell lines.
J Neurosurg. 2015; 122(3):547-56 [PubMed] Related Publications
OBJECT: Glioblastoma is a rapidly infiltrating tumor that consistently rematerializes despite various forms of aggressive treatment. Brain tumors are commonly treated with alkylating drugs, such as lomustine, which are chemotherapeutic agents. Use of these drugs, however, is associated with serious side effects. To reduce the side effects, one approach is to combine lower doses of chemotherapeutic drugs with other nontoxic anticancer agents. In this study, using glioblastoma cell lines, the authors investigated the anticancer effects of lomustine, alone and in combination with docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), an omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid normally abundant in the brain and known for its anticancer potential.
METHODS: Cells were cultured from 3 human-derived tumor cell lines (U87-MG, DB029, and MHBT161) and supplemented with either DHA or lomustine to determine the growth inhibitory potential using WST-1, a mitochondrial functional indicator. Human-derived cerebral cortex microvascular endothelial cells served as a normal phenotypic control. Cellular incorporation of DHA was analyzed by gas chromatography. Using flow cytometric analysis, the DHA and/or lomustine effect on induction of apoptosis and/or necrosis was quantified; subsequently, the DHA and lomustine effect on cell cycle progression was also assessed. Western blot analysis confirmed the role of downstream cellular targets.
RESULTS: U87-MG growth was inhibited with the supplementation of either DHA (ED50 68.3 μM) or lomustine (ED50 68.1 μM); however, growth inhibition was enhanced when U87-MG cells were administered equimolar doses of each compound, resulting in nearly total growth inhibition at 50 μM. Gas chromatography analysis of the fatty acid profile in DHA-supplemented U87-MG cells resulted in a linear dose-dependent increase in DHA incorporation (< 60 μM). The combination of DHA and lomustine potently induced U87-MG apoptosis and necrosis as indicated by flow cytometric analysis. Activation of caspase-3 and poly (ADP-ribose) polymerase (PARP) was evident in lomustine-treated U87-MG cells, although this activation did not appear to be dependent on DHA supplementation. Additionally, lomustine-treated cells' growth arrested in the G2/M cell cycle stage, regardless of the presence of DHA. Similar to the U87-MG observations, the combination of DHA and lomustine resulted in growth inhibition of 2 additional human-derived glioblastoma cell lines, DB029 and MHBT161. Importantly, in primary human-derived cerebral cortex endothelial cells, this combination was only growth inhibitory (40.8%) at the highest dose screened (100 μM), which indicates a certain degree of selectivity toward glioblastoma.
CONCLUSIONS: Taken together, these data suggest a potential role for a combination therapy of lomustine and DHA for the treatment of glioblastomas.

van den Bent MJ
Practice changing mature results of RTOG study 9802: another positive PCV trial makes adjuvant chemotherapy part of standard of care in low-grade glioma.
Neuro Oncol. 2014; 16(12):1570-4 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
The long-term follow-up of the RTOG 9802 trial that compared 54 Gy of radiotherapy (RT) with the same RT followed by adjuvant procarbazine, CCNU, and vincristine (PCV) chemotherapy in high-risk low-grade glioma shows a major increase in survival after adjuvant PCV chemotherapy. Median overall survival increased from 7.8 years to 13.3 years, with a hazard ratio of death of 0.59 (log rank: P = .002). This increase in survival was observed despite the fact that 77% of patients who progressed after RT alone received salvage chemotherapy. With this outcome, RT + PCV is now to be considered standard of care for low-grade glioma requiring postsurgical adjuvant treatment. Unfortunately, studies on molecular correlates associated with response are still lacking. This is now the third trial showing benefit from the addition of PCV to RT in grade II or III diffuse glioma. The optimal parameter for selecting patients for adjuvant PCV has not yet been fully elucidated, but several candidate markers have so far emerged. It is still unclear whether temozolomide can replace PCV and whether initial management with chemotherapy only is a safe initial treatment. Potentially, that may adversely affect overall survival, but concerns for delayed RT-induced neurotoxicity may limit acceptance of early RT in patients with expected long term survival. The current evidence supports that in future trials, grades II and III tumors with similar molecular backgrounds should be combined, and trials should focus on molecular glial subtype regardless of grade.

Taal W, van der Rijt CC, Dinjens WN, et al.
Treatment of large low-grade oligodendroglial tumors with upfront procarbazine, lomustine, and vincristine chemotherapy with long follow-up: a retrospective cohort study with growth kinetics.
J Neurooncol. 2015; 121(2):365-72 [PubMed] Related Publications
We treated patients with newly diagnosed and large low-grade oligodendroglial tumors with upfront procarbazine, CCNU and vincristine (PCV) in order to delay radiotherapy. Patients were treated with PCV for a maximum of 6 cycles. The response to treatment was defined according to the RANO criteria; in addition change over time of mean tumor diameters (growth kinetics) was calculated. Thirty-two patients were treated between 1998 and 2006, 18 of which were diagnosed with 1p/19q co-deleted tumors. Median follow-up duration was 8 years (range 0.5-13 years). The median overall survival (mOS) was 120 months and the median progression-free survival (mPFS) was 46 months. Growth kinetics showed an ongoing decrease of the mean tumor diameter after completion of chemotherapy, during a median time of 35 months, but an increase of the mean tumor diameter did not herald progression as detected by RANO criteria. 1p/19q co-deletion was associated with a significant increase in OS (mOS 83 months versus not reached for codeleted tumors; p = 0.003)) and PFS (mPFS 35 months versus 67 months for codeleted tumors; p = 0.024). Patients with combined 1p/19q loss had a 10 year PFS of 34 % and the radiotherapy in these patients was postponed for a median period of more than 6 years. This long-term follow-up study indicates that upfront PCV chemotherapy is associated with long PFS and OS and delays radiotherapy for a considerable period of time in patients with low-grade oligodendroglial tumors, in particular with combined 1p/19q loss.

Taal W, Oosterkamp HM, Walenkamp AM, et al.
Single-agent bevacizumab or lomustine versus a combination of bevacizumab plus lomustine in patients with recurrent glioblastoma (BELOB trial): a randomised controlled phase 2 trial.
Lancet Oncol. 2014; 15(9):943-53 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Treatment options for recurrent glioblastoma are scarce, with second-line chemotherapy showing only modest activity against the tumour. Despite the absence of well controlled trials, bevacizumab is widely used in the treatment of recurrent glioblastoma. Nonetheless, whether the high response rates reported after treatment with this drug translate into an overall survival benefit remains unclear. We report the results of the first randomised controlled phase 2 trial of bevacizumab in recurrent glioblastoma.
METHODS: The BELOB trial was an open-label, three-group, multicentre phase 2 study undertaken in 14 hospitals in the Netherlands. Adult patients (≥18 years of age) with a first recurrence of a glioblastoma after temozolomide chemoradiotherapy were randomly allocated by a web-based program to treatment with oral lomustine 110 mg/m(2) once every 6 weeks, intravenous bevacizumab 10 mg/kg once every 2 weeks, or combination treatment with lomustine 110 mg/m(2) every 6 weeks and bevacizumab 10 mg/kg every 2 weeks. Randomisation of patients was stratified with a minimisation procedure, in which the stratification factors were centre, Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group performance status, and age. The primary outcome was overall survival at 9 months, analysed by intention to treat. A safety analysis was planned after the first ten patients completed two cycles of 6 weeks in the combination treatment group. This trial is registered with the Nederlands Trial Register (www.trialregister.nl, number NTR1929).
FINDINGS: Between Dec 11, 2009, and Nov 10, 2011, 153 patients were enrolled. The preplanned safety analysis was done after eight patients had been treated, because of haematological adverse events (three patients had grade 3 thrombocytopenia and two had grade 4 thrombocytopenia) which reduced bevacizumab dose intensity; the lomustine dose in the combination treatment group was thereafter reduced to 90 mg/m(2). Thus, in addition to the eight patients who were randomly assigned to receive bevacizumab plus lomustine 110 mg/m(2), 51 patients were assigned to receive bevacizumab alone, 47 to receive lomustine alone, and 47 to receive bevacizumab plus lomustine 90 mg/m(2). Of these patients, 50 in the bevacizumab alone group, 46 in the lomustine alone group, and 44 in the bevacizumab and lomustine 90 mg/m(2) group were eligible for analyses. 9-month overall survival was 43% (95% CI 29-57) in the lomustine group, 38% (25-51) in the bevacizumab group, 59% (43-72) in the bevacizumab and lomustine 90 mg/m(2) group, 87% (39-98) in the bevacizumab and lomustine 110 mg/m(2) group, and 63% (49-75) for the combined bevacizumab and lomustine groups. After the reduction in lomustine dose in the combination group, the combined treatment was well tolerated. The most frequent grade 3 or worse toxicities were hypertension (13 [26%] of 50 patients in the bevacizumab group, three [7%] of 46 in the lomustine group, and 11 [25%] of 44 in the bevacizumab and lomustine 90 mg/m(2) group), fatigue (two [4%], four [9%], and eight [18%]), and infections (three [6%], two [4%], and five [11%]). At the time of this analysis, 144/148 (97%) of patients had died and three (2%) were still on treatment.
INTERPRETATION: The combination of bevacizumab and lomustine met prespecified criteria for assessment of this treatment in further phase 3 studies. However, the results in the bevacizumab alone group do not justify further studies of this treatment.
FUNDING: Roche Nederland and KWF Kankerbestrijding.

Pizer B, Salehzadeh A, Brodbelt A, Mallucci C
Prolonged survival associated with the use of intraoperative carmustine (Gliadel) in a paediatric patient with recurrent grade III astrocytoma.
Br J Neurosurg. 2013; 27(4):516-8 [PubMed] Related Publications
A 15-year-old female presented with a middle cranial fossa anaplastic astrocytoma that was completely excised. She received local radiotherapy (54 Gy) and oral temozolomide. Five months after therapy, MRI showed local relapse. She underwent resection of the tumour with implantation of seven carmustine-impregnated wafers (Gliadel). She then received six cycles of procarbazine and lomustine therapy. Three years later, she is well and disease free. This case supports the further investigation of Gliadel in children and young people with relapsed high-grade glioma, particularly in the setting of a second complete resection.

Zhao Z, Liu Y, He H, et al.
Candidate genes influencing sensitivity and resistance of human glioblastoma to Semustine.
Brain Res Bull. 2011; 86(3-4):189-94 [PubMed] Related Publications
OBJECTIVE: The prognosis of glioblastoma (GBM) is poor. The therapeutic outcome of conventional surgical and adjuvant treatments remains unsatisfactory, and therefore individualized adjuvant chemotherapy has aroused more attention. Microarrays have been applied to study mechanism of GBM development and progression but it has difficulty in determining responsible genes from the plethora of genes on microarrays unrelated to outcome. The present study was attempted to use bioinformatics method to investigate candidate genes that may influence chemosensitivity of GBM to Semustine (Me-CCNU).
METHODS: Clinical data of 4 GBM patients in Affymetrix microarray were perfected through long-term follow-up study. Differential expression genes between the long- and short-survival groups were picked out, GO-analysis and pathway-analysis of the differential expression genes were performed. Me-CCNU-related signal transduction networks were constructed. The methods combined three steps before were used to screen core genes that influenced Me-CCNU chemosensitivity in GBM.
RESULTS: In Affymetrix microarray there were altogether 2018 differential expression genes that influenced survival duration of GBM. Of them, 934 genes were up-regulated and 1084 down-regulated. They mainly participated in 94 pathways. Me-CCNU-related signal transduction networks were constructed. The total number of genes in the networks was 466, of which 66 were also found in survival duration-related differential expression genes. Studied key genes through GO-analysis, pathway-analysis and in the Me-CCNU-related signal transduction networks, 25 core genes that influenced chemosensitivity of GBM to Me-CCNU were obtained, including TP53, MAP2K2, EP300, PRKCA, TNF, CCND1, AKT2, RBL1, CDC2, ID2, RAF1, CDKN2C, FGFR1, SP1, CDK6, IGFBP3, MDM4, PDGFD, SOCS2, CCNG2, CDK2, SDC2, STMN1, TCF7L1, TUBB.
CONCLUSION: Bioinformatics may help excavate and analyze large amounts of data in microarrays by means of rigorous experimental planning, scientific statistical analysis and collection of complete data about survival of GBM patients. In the present study, a novel differential gene expression pattern was constructed and advanced study will provide new targets for chemosensitivity of GBM.

Mehrotra A, Nagarwal RC, Pandit JK
Lomustine loaded chitosan nanoparticles: characterization and in-vitro cytotoxicity on human lung cancer cell line L132.
Chem Pharm Bull (Tokyo). 2011; 59(3):315-20 [PubMed] Related Publications
The aim of this work was to prepare chitosan nanoparticles loaded with antineoplastic drug Lomustine (LCNPs), by ionic-gelation method with homogenization. The nanoparticles were characterized for particle size, polydispersity index (PDI), surface morphology, encapsulation efficiency, in-vitro drug release and cytotoxicity on human lung cancer cell line L132 by 3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide (MTT) assay. The particle size, zeta potential and encapsulation efficiency of prepared nanoparticles ranged from 75 ± 1.1 to 637 ± 1.6 nm (PDI from 0.05 ± 0.001 to 0.18 ± 0.007), 37.2 ± 0.21 to 53.8 ± 0.18 mV and 66.74 ± 1.4 to 98.0 ± 1.8% respectively. The particles were spherical in shape with smooth surface in scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and transmission electron microscopy (TEM) images. Mechanical shearing by homogenization treatment significantly changed the nanoparticle size. The drug release rate was biphasic and diffusion controlled over the 8 h. LCNPs greatly inhibited the growth of the L132 cancer cell line used in this study in comparison to the native Lomustine (LMT).

Wick W, Puduvalli VK, Chamberlain MC, et al.
Phase III study of enzastaurin compared with lomustine in the treatment of recurrent intracranial glioblastoma.
J Clin Oncol. 2010; 28(7):1168-74 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
PURPOSE: This phase III open-label study compared the efficacy and safety of enzastaurin versus lomustine in patients with recurrent glioblastoma (WHO grade 4).
PATIENTS AND METHODS: Patients were randomly assigned 2:1 to receive 6-week cycles of enzastaurin 500 mg/d (1,125-mg loading dose, day 1) or lomustine (100 to 130 mg/m(2), day 1). Assuming a 45% improvement in progression-free survival (PFS), 397 patients were required to provide 80% power to achieve statistical significance at a one-sided level of .025.
RESULTS: Enrollment was terminated at 266 patients (enzastaurin, n = 174; lomustine, n = 92) after a planned interim analysis for futility. Patient characteristics were balanced between arms. Median PFS (1.5 v 1.6 months; hazard ratio [HR] = 1.28; 95% CI, 0.97 to 1.70), overall survival (6.6 v 7.1 months; HR = 1.20; 95% CI, 0.88 to 1.65), and 6-month PFS rate (P = .13) did not differ significantly between enzastaurin and lomustine, respectively. Stable disease occurred in 38.5% and 35.9% of patients and objective response occurred in 2.9% and 4.3% of patients, respectively. Time to deterioration of physical and functional well-being and symptoms did not differ between arms (HR = 1.12; P = .54). Four patients discontinued enzastaurin because of drug-related serious adverse events (AEs). Eleven patients treated with enzastaurin died on study (four because of AEs; one was drug-related). All four deaths that occurred in patients receiving lomustine were disease-related. Grade 3 to 4 hematologic toxicities were significantly higher with lomustine (46 events) than with enzastaurin (one event; P < or = .001).
CONCLUSION: Enzastaurin was well tolerated and had a better hematologic toxicity profile but did not have superior efficacy compared with lomustine in patients with recurrent glioblastoma.

Ma X, Guo Y, Pang Z, et al.
A randomized phase II study of CEOP with or without semustine as induction chemotherapy in patients with stage IE/IIE extranodal NK/T-cell lymphoma, nasal type in the upper aerodigestive tract.
Radiother Oncol. 2009; 93(3):492-7 [PubMed] Related Publications
PURPOSE: In this randomized phase II study, we evaluated the efficacy of semustine added to CEOP regimen as induction chemotherapy in patients with stage I(E)/II(E) extranodal NK/T-cell lymphoma, nasal type in the upper aerodigestive tract.
PATIENTS AND METHODS: Seventy-five eligible patients were randomized to receive either CEOP or CEOP plus semustine followed by involved-field radiotherapy.
RESULTS: The overall response rate of induction chemotherapy was 57.9% in CEOP arm compared with 62.2% in CEOP plus semustine arm (P=0.71). With a median follow-up of 30.1 months, 2-year overall survival was 73.3% and 62.2%, respectively (P=0.37). Toxicities in both arms were comparable and manageable. Through univariate and multivariate analysis, PS of 2, Stage II(E) and elevated LDH level were identified to be adverse prognostic factors. A new prognostic index categorized three groups of patients (low risk, no adverse factors; intermediate risk, one factor; and high risk, 2 or 3 factors) with highly significant difference of prognosis. Two-year overall survival was 87.5%, 60.6% and 30%, respectively (P=0.0002).
CONCLUSIONS: The addition of semustine to CEOP regimen was not associated with improved efficacy. More effective treatment needs to be explored in patients with intermediate or high risk.

Illerhaus G, Marks R, Müller F, et al.
High-dose methotrexate combined with procarbazine and CCNU for primary CNS lymphoma in the elderly: results of a prospective pilot and phase II study.
Ann Oncol. 2009; 20(2):319-25 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: To improve survival of elderly patients with primary central nervous system lymphoma (PCNSL), we conducted a phase II study with high-dose methotrexate (MTX) combined with procarbazine and CCNU. To reduce neurotoxicity, whole-brain irradiation was reserved for patients not responding to chemotherapy.
PATIENTS AND METHODS: High-dose MTX was applied on days 1, 15, and 30, procarbazine on days 1-10, and CCNU on day 1. Study treatment comprised up to three 45-day cycles. There was no lower limit of Karnofsky performance status (KPS).
RESULTS: Thirty patients with PCNSL (n = 29) or primary ocular lymphoma (n = 1) were included (median age 70 years, range 57-79 years). The median initial KPS was 60% (range 30%-90%). Best documented response in 27 assessable patients were 12 of 27 (44.4%) complete remissions, 7 of 27 (25.9%) partial remissions, and 8 of 27 (29.6%) disease progressions. Two patients died of probable treatment-related causes. With a median follow-up of 78 months (range 34-105), the 5-year overall survival is 33%. Eight of 30 patients (26.7%) are currently alive and well, six without signs of leukoencephalopathy.
CONCLUSION: The combination of high-dose MTX with procarbazine and CCNU is feasible and effective and results in a low rate of leukoencephalopathy. Comorbidity and toxicity remain of concern when treating PCNSL in elderly patients.

Amarasingh S, Macleod MR, Whittle IR
What is the translational efficacy of chemotherapeutic drug research in neuro-oncology? A systematic review and meta-analysis of the efficacy of BCNU and CCNU in animal models of glioma.
J Neurooncol. 2009; 91(2):117-25 [PubMed] Related Publications
INTRODUCTION: The translational value of experimental therapeutic neuroscience research to clinical practice is highly variable. This has been particularly well demonstrated in the field of neuroprotective agents following either head injury or stroke. In this study we evaluate the efficacy of systemic BCNU and CCNU in experimental glioma models and how the experimental data has translated into clinical practice.
METHODS: A systematic review of the efficacy of BCNU and CCNU, against experimental rodent and murine in vivo glioma models was conducted. Selected articles were graded on a 15 point scale for scientific methodology. A stratified meta-analysis based on median-survival data and effect sizes was performed to generate global-efficacy estimates for BCNU and CCNU, and to produce 'weighted-mean effect-sizes' for individual sub-categories of selected study-characteristics.
RESULTS: Fourteen papers satisfied search criteria and encompassed 231 treatment comparisons in 2256 animals. The median methodology score was 9 (range 7-12/15). Global-efficacy estimates were BCNU 0.194 (95% CI -0.538 to 0.927) and CCNU 0.432 (95% CI -0.392 to 1.256), with CCNU being significantly more effective than BCNU. Because of these wide confidence intervals a beneficial or detrimental effect of either agent could not be confirmed. Most selected study-design characteristics (e.g. glioma cell line, drug dosage, drug scheduling, mode of drug administration, timing of therapy after glioma implantation but not animal used) significantly influenced the efficacy-results obtained. The methodological score did not influence efficacy-estimate.
CONCLUSION: This review has found (i) experimental-design influenced the efficacy-data obtained and (ii) that there is highly variable outcome data for the efficacy of both BCNU and CCNU in experimental in vivo rodent and murine glioma models. In many ways these findings are analagous to the use of nitrosoureas in human malignant glioma. The statistically significant small beneficial effect of nitrosoureas in combination with other chemotherapeutic agents in human glioma was only noted after a meta-analysis of human randomized controlled trials.

Gadjeva V, Dimov A, Georgieva N
Influence of therapy on the antioxidant status in patients with melanoma.
J Clin Pharm Ther. 2008; 33(2):179-85 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVE: Some anticancer drugs can result in increased production of reactive oxygen species (ROS). Alkylating agents are the most frequently used drugs in chemotherapeutic regimens for the treatment of malignant melanoma. It is known that triazenes exhibit in vivo activity by alkylation of nucleic acids and proteins, but there is no data about ROS formation during oxidative metabolism. Single agents of most interest for treatment of malignant melanomas include 5-(3,3-dimethyltriazene-1-yl)-imidazole-4-carboxamide (DTIC) and nitrosoureas such as 1-(2-chloroethyl)-3-cyclohexyl-1-nitrosourea (CCNU), but complete response to these drugs is rare. The present study aimed to determine whether an oxidative stress occurs during the clinical course of melanoma and the influence of therapy on the antioxidant status of patients with melanoma. For this purpose, we investigated plasma concentrations of MDA as indices of the levels of lipid peroxidation products. In addition, we studied the activities of the antioxidant enzymes superoxide dismutases (SOD) and catalase (CAT) in patients with melanoma before any treatment, after surgical removal of melanoma, and after chemotherapy with DTIC or in combination with CCNU of the operated patients.
METHODS: Twenty one patients with melanoma were studied. Patients were operated prior to chemotherapy. After recovery for 10-20 days postoperatively, they were studied again for MDA, SOD and CAT activity. The patients were divided into two groups according to the chemotherapy (3-7 treatment cycles): with DTIC-given orally daily for 5 days, every 3 weeks as a single 2200 mg/kg dose and with the combination-DTIC (the same dose) + CCNU-administered orally at a dosage of 120 mg/m(2) once every 40 days in accordance with protocols, approved by the Bulgarian Ministry of Health. The total amount of lipid peroxidation products in plasma was assayed.
RESULTS AND DISCUSSION: Plasma levels of MDA and CAT activity were significantly higher, and erythrocyte SOD activity significantly lower, in patients with melanoma, than in control healthy volunteers (P < 0.0001). Ten to twenty days after surgery, oxidative stress decreased but levels of MDA increased as a result of therapy. Important sources of increased ROS production may be the monocytes, phagocytosis of tumour cells and the cancer tissues. Plasma MDA in patients treated with DTIC + CCNU were significantly higher (P < 0.001), but erythrocyte SOD statistically lower (P < 0.00001), compared with patients treated with DTIC only. However, a combination of DTIC + CCNU did not attenuate oxidative stress, or reduced antioxidant status. Patients treated with this combination are at bigger risk of oxidative injury. Therefore, this disturbance might be due to augmented generation of toxic ROS, possibly from the metabolism of CCNU.
CONCLUSION: Increased oxidative stress follows an imbalance in antioxidant defence in non-treated patients with melanoma. The impaired antioxidant system favours accumulation of ROS, which may promote the cancer process. After complete removal of melanoma tissues, oxidative stress decreased. The antioxidant status of melanoma patients operated on was influenced by the different chemotherapeutic regimens used and may play an important role in the response. Patients on DTIC + CCNU are at higher risk of oxidative injury. This drug combination probably exerts its toxic activity by ROS, which could be products of the metabolism of CCNU.

Shinwari Z, Manogaran PS, Alrokayan SA, et al.
Vincristine and lomustine induce apoptosis and p21(WAF1) up-regulation in medulloblastoma and normal human epithelial and fibroblast cells.
J Neurooncol. 2008; 87(2):123-32 [PubMed] Related Publications
Medulloblastomas arise in the cerebellum and are the most common pediatric primary malignant brain tumors. Currently, medulloblastoma patients are best treated with surgical removal of the tumor, adjuvant radiation therapy and chemotherapy. The chemotherapeutic agents that showed efficiency against medulloblastomas include lomustine and vincristine. However, the effects of these drugs on medulloblastomas as well as on other cell types is still not well defined. In the present report we present evidence that the cytotoxic effect of these drugs is not specific for medulloblastoma cells but includes also normal fibroblast and epithelial cells. We have also shown that vincristine and lomustine trigger apoptosis in all these cells through the mitochondrial pathway via decrease in the level of the anti-apoptosis proteins Bcl-2 and Bcl-xl, respectively. Intriguingly, the proportion of apoptotic cells induced in medulloblastoma and normal epithelial and fibroblastic cells was similar. In addition, vincristine induced low proportion of necrosis in medulloblastoma and normal fibroblast cells. Interestingly, while vincristine induced cell cycle delay in G2/M phase in normal as well as medulloblastoma cells, lomustine effect on the cell cycle was specific for medulloblastoma cells. Furthermore, we have shown that vincristine and lomustine up-regulated p21 protein level in a p53-independent manner. These results shed more light on the biological effects of vincristine and lomustine and show that lomustine is a more specific and potent anti-medulloblastoma agent.

Pigneux A, Perreau V, Jourdan E, et al.
Adding lomustine to idarubicin and cytarabine for induction chemotherapy in older patients with acute myeloid leukemia: the BGMT 95 trial results.
Haematologica. 2007; 92(10):1327-34 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES: Treatment of acute myeloid leukemia (AML) in older patients remains unsatisfactory. The BGMT 95 trial for older patients set out to improve the outcome of these patients by adding a third drug (lomustine) to a 5+7 idarubicin and cytarabine schedule at induction and evaluating intermediate-dose cytarabine as consolidation.
DESIGN AND METHODS: A multicenter randomized trial was performed comparing induction therapy with idarubicin and cytarabine, 5+7 (IC) to induction therapy with the same drugs plus lomustine (CCNU), 200 mg\m(2) orally on day 1 (ICL). Patients in complete remission (CR) were then randomized to receive either maintenance therapy or intensification with intermediate-dose cytarabine and idarubicin followed by maintenance therapy.
RESULTS: Between 1995 and 2001, 364 patients (>or=60 years) from ten centers were included. The CR rate was 58% for patients in the IC arm and 67% for patients in the ICL arm (p=0.104). The median overall survival (OS) was 7 and 12 months respectively (p=0.05), but OS at 2 years was not statistically different: 31+/-7% for patients in the ICL arm vs 24+/-6% for those in the IC arm. The two post-remission strategies yielded similar results.
INTERPRETATION AND CONCLUSIONS: Adding lomustine to induction with idarubicin and cytarabine therapy did not statistically improve survival in elderly patients with AML. Adding intermediate-dose cytarabine to consolidation therapy did not improve outcome.

Larkin JM, Hughes SA, Beirne DA, et al.
A phase I/II study of lomustine and temozolomide in patients with cerebral metastases from malignant melanoma.
Br J Cancer. 2007; 96(1):44-8 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Temozolomide is an alkylating agent with activity in the treatment of melanoma metastatic to the brain. Lomustine is a nitrosurea that crosses the blood brain barrier and there is evidence to suggest that temozolomide may reverse resistance to lomustine. A multicentre phase I/II study was conducted to assess the maximum-tolerated dose (MTD), safety and efficacy of the combination of temozolomide and lomustine in melanoma metastatic to the brain. Increasing doses of temozolomide and lomustine were administered in phase I of the study to determine the MTD. Patients were treated at the MTD in phase II of the study to six cycles, disease progression or unacceptable toxicity. Twenty-six patients were enrolled in the study. In phase I of the study, the MTD was defined as temozolomide 150 mg m(-2) days 1-5 every 28 days and lomustine 60 mg m(-2) on day 5 every 56 days. Dose-limiting neutropaenia and thrombocytopaenia were observed at higher doses. Twenty patients were treated at this dose in phase II of the study. No responses to therapy were observed. Median survival from starting chemotherapy was 2 months. The combination of temozolomide and lomustine in patients with brain metastases from melanoma does not demonstrate activity. The further evaluation of this combination therefore is not warranted.

Alexandrescu DT, Karri S, Wiernik PH, Dutcher JP
Mitoxantrone, vinblastine and CCNU: long-term follow-up of patients treated for advanced and poor-prognosis Hodgkin's disease.
Leuk Lymphoma. 2006; 47(4):641-56 [PubMed] Related Publications
Advanced-stage or relapsed/refractory Hodgkin's disease (HD) has a poor prognosis despite aggressive chemotherapy regimens and the use of high-dose therapy with autologous stem cell support. Mitoxantrone, vinblastine and CCNU (lomustine) (MVC) combines the most effective chemotherapeutic agents of previous regimens for poor prognosis HD, and eliminates marginally active agents with unnecessary toxicities, such as bleomycin and dacarbazine. Sixty-eight patients with HD (23 newly diagnosed and 45 with relapsed/refractory disease, one patient treated both de novo and years later in relapse) were treated with the MVC regimen (mitoxantrone 8 mg/m(2)/day i.v. days 1 - 3; vinblastine 8 m/m(2)/day days 1 and 22; and CCNU (lomustine) 100 mg/m(2) on day 1, repeated at 6 - 8 weeks) in a single-arm Phase II study. All patients responded to treatment in the newly diagnosed group (overall response = 100%). The median response duration was not reached, but was in the range 7.6 - 180 + months, and median survival was 94 months. Eleven complete responses are ongoing at 39 - 180 + months. In the previously-treated patients, 41 responded to MVC (OR = 91%). The median response duration for this group was 11 months, and the median survival was 34 months after initiating MVC. Four secondary myeloid leukemias occurred, three in de novo, and one in the relapsed/refractory group, at a median follow-up of 14 years. MVC regimen for HD is highly active, for both de novo and relapsed/refractory disease, with high response rates and survival that compare favourably with the results obtained by high-dose therapy with stem-cell transplantation. Although significant, the toxicities associated with this regimen were manageable.

Cornetta K, Croop J, Dropcho E, et al.
A pilot study of dose-intensified procarbazine, CCNU, vincristine for poor prognosis brain tumors utilizing fibronectin-assisted, retroviral-mediated modification of CD34+ peripheral blood cells with O6-methylguanine DNA methyltransferase.
Cancer Gene Ther. 2006; 13(9):886-95 [PubMed] Related Publications
Administration of chemotherapy is often limited by myelosuppression. Expression of drug-resistance genes in hematopoietic cells has been proposed as a means to decrease the toxicity of cytotoxic agents. In this pilot study, we utilized a retroviral vector expressing methylguanine DNA methyltransferase (MGMT) to transduce hematopoietic progenitors, which were subsequently used in the setting of alkylator therapy (procarbazine, CCNU, vincristine (PCV)) for poor prognosis brain tumors. Granulocyte colony-stimulating factor (G-CSF)-mobilized peripheral blood progenitor cells were collected by apheresis and enriched for CD34+ expression. Nine subjects were infused with CD34+-enriched cells treated in a transduction procedure involving a 4-day exposure to cytokines with vector exposure on days 3 and 4. No major adverse event was related to the gene therapy procedure. Importantly, the engraftment kinetics of the treated product was similar to unmanipulated peripheral blood stem cells, suggesting that the ex vivo manipulation did not significantly reduce engrafting progenitor cell function. Gene-transduced cells were detected in all subjects. Although the level and duration was limited, patients receiving cells transduced using fibronectin 'preloaded' with virus supernatant appeared to show improved in vivo marking frequency. These findings demonstrate the feasibility and safety of utilizing MGMT-transduced CD34+ peripheral blood progenitor cells in the setting of chemotherapy.

Tafuto S, Muto P, Tortoriello A, et al.
Phase I study of temozolomide and lomustine in the treatment of high grade malignant glioma.
Front Biosci. 2006; 11:502-5 [PubMed] Related Publications
Systematic reviews and meta-analysis have demonstrated an improved prognosis by chemotherapy of malignant glioma patients. The effects of clinical research therefore have the aim to find more active drugs or new combination therapies. The combination of Temozolomide (TMZ) and nitrosoureas was evaluated preclinically with an evidence of therapeutic synergy. Based on these findings, we have carried out a phase I study with TMZ administered in low, prolonged doses of 75 mg/m2 per day, once a day for 21 days, escalated in cohorts of 3 patients, in combination with a fixed dose of Lomustine (CCNU) 100 mg/m2 orally on day 1. MTD was evident. The treatment was generally well tolerated. We did not observe bleeding or severe infections, as described for several combination chemotherapies with TMZ and other agents. In this study, for the first time in high grade malignant glioma, two orally administrated drugs were associated .TMZ 75 mg/m2 for 28 consecutive days and CCNU 100 mg/m2 on day 1 of every 6 weeks could be recommended as a safe treatment dosage. One of the ten patients evaluated for clinical response showed a partial response, while nine showed stability of disease, with a median duration of from 5 to 6 months.

Musolino A, Perrone MA, Michiara M, et al.
Lomustine (chloroethylnitrosourea [CCNU]), ifosfamide, bleomycin, vincristine, and cisplatin (CIBO-P) is an effective regimen for patients with poor prognostic refractory or multiple disease recurrent aggressive non-Hodgkin lymphoma.
Cancer. 2005; 103(10):2109-17 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: The current study was designed to assess the activity and safety of a novel combination therapy for patients with recurrent or refractory aggressive non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL).
METHODS: Forty-three consecutive patients with recurrent or refractory aggressive NHL were treated with lomustine (chloroethylnitrosourea [CCNU]; 60 mg/m2 on Day 1), ifosfamide (1.5 g/m(2 on Days 1, 2 and 21, 22), bleomycin (5 mg/m2 on Days 1, 5 and 21, 25), vincristine (1.4 mg/m2 on Days 1, 8 and 21, 28), and cisplatin (25 mg/m2 on Days 3, 4, 5 and 23, 24, 25), every 42 days (CIBO-P regimen).
RESULTS: Thirty-nine patients (91%) were evaluable for response. The median patient age was 63 years. Thirty-five percent of the patients had received > or = 2 lines of previous chemotherapy and 40% had elevated lactate dehydrogenase levels at the time of treatment initiation. The overall objective response rate was 77% (95% confidence interval [95% CI], 63-90%), including 19 (49%) complete (CR) and 11 (28%) partial responses. CIBO-P induced responses in primary refractory disease and in patients treated for second or subsequent disease recurrences. A CR with previous therapy was the most important factor associated with a significantly higher CR rate. The median duration of response was 6 months (95% CI, 4.4-7.7 months) and the median survival duration was 10.7 months (95% CI, 5.9-18.1 months). Five patients (11.6%) remained disease free for > or = 24 months. By multivariate analysis, a CR with previous therapy and average dose intensity of CIBO-P drugs were independent prognostic factors for time-to-treatment failure, whereas a CR with previous therapy and serum lactate dehydrogenase were independent predictors for survival. Myelosuppression was the most frequent serious complication of this regimen. However, none of the patients had hemorrhage with thrombocytopenia, and only 2 patients (5%) had febrile neutropenia.
CONCLUSIONS: In the current study, CIBO-P was a novel, highly active, and safe combination therapy for patients with refractory disease with a poor prognosis or for patients with multiply recurrent aggressive NHL.

Mañé JM, Fernández R, Muñoz A, et al.
Preradiation chemotherapy with VM-26 and CCNU in patients with glioblastoma multiforme.
Tumori. 2004 Nov-Dec; 90(6):562-6 [PubMed] Related Publications
AIMS AND BACKGROUND: The objective of the study was to evaluate the efficacy of combined chemoradiation in patients with newly diagnosed glioblastoma multiforme. The main end points were time to progression and overall survival.
METHODS: Thirty-one patients with glioblastoma multiforme underwent surgery whenever possible and then received intravenous VM26 (120 mg/m2) and oral CCNU (120 mg/m2) for three cycles followed by radiotherapy (60 Gy).
RESULTS: Surgery consisted of a complete resection in 39% of patients, partial resection in 35% and a biopsy in 26%. Sixteen patients had clinical or radiological evidence of progression during or after chemotherapy. Hematologic toxicity was mild. Forty-five percent of patients received the scheduled dose of radiation. The outcome was disappointing, with a median time to progression of 18 weeks and median survival of 37.17 weeks.
CONCLUSIONS: The survival of patients with glioblastoma multiforme remains disappointing. Multimodal therapy does not seem to modify the evolution of the tumor. Stratification according to prognostic factors might detect a potential benefit of other therapeutic approaches.

Tang BN, Sadeghi N, Branle F, et al.
Semi-quantification of methionine uptake and flair signal for the evaluation of chemotherapy in low-grade oligodendroglioma.
J Neurooncol. 2005; 71(2):161-8 [PubMed] Related Publications
UNLABELLED: 11C-Methionine (MET) is a useful positron emission tomography (PET) tracer for the evaluation of low-grade gliomas. Among these tumors, a high percentage of low-grade oligodendrogliomas (ODG) are sensitive to chemotherapy with procarbazine, CCNU, and vincristine (PCV). We aimed at: (1) objectively assessing ODG response to PCV by a metabolic index (the Activity Volume Index or AVI) generated from an automated semi-quantification of PET with MET (PET-MET); (2) comparing AVI and quantitative magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) measurements of response to PCV.
METHODS: seven patients with ODG were followed for a period of 19.9+/-6.6 months after the completion of PCV chemotherapy. Regions of interest (ROI) were generated by covering all voxels with count values above a threshold level set at 120% of the mean cerebellar activity. On each slice, ROI volume and mean count values were calculated. AVI was calculated as the sum over all ROI of tumor volumex(tumor mean count/cerebellum count). Tumor volume measurements on MRI, were based on signal abnormalities visually detected on fluid-attenuated inversion recovery (FLAIR) sequences.
RESULTS: PCV therapy was associated with a drastic decrease in AVI (mean+/-SD, cm3): AVI post-PCV=0.80+/-1.45 vs. AVI prior PCV=12.94+/-11.46 (P=0.03). Likewise, we observed a decrease in tumor volume estimated from the FLAIR signal (31.37+/-11.99 post-PCV vs. 67.95+/-39.96 prior PCV, P=0.03) although AVI decrease after PCV was significantly more pronounced (P=0.015).
CONCLUSION: This study, based on limited number of patients and follow-up period indicates that AVI may be a sensitive and observer-independent method applicable to the assessment of ODG responsiveness to PCV treatment and may offer a major added value to both clinical assessment and MRI evaluation of chemotherapeutic outcomes.

Shamash J, Dancey G, Barlow C, et al.
Chlorambucil and lomustine (CL56) in absolute hormone refractory prostate cancer: re-induction of endocrine sensitivity an unexpected finding.
Br J Cancer. 2005; 92(1):36-40 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
The management of androgen independent prostate cancer is increasingly disputed. Diethylstilbestrol and steroids have useful second-line activity in its management. The value of chemotherapy still remains contentious. This paper reports a phase 2 study of two orally active chemotherapy drugs in patients who are absolutely hormone refractory having failed primary androgen blockade and combined oestrogens and corticosteroids. In total, 37 patients who were biochemically castrate with absolute hormone refractory prostate cancer and performance status of 0-3 were enrolled. Therapy consisted of chlorambucil 1 mg kg(-1) given as 6 mg a day until the total dose was reached and lomustine 2 mg kg(-1) given every 56 days (CL56). During this time all hormone therapy was stopped. One patient normalised his PSA with a further two having a greater than 50% decline leading to an objective response rate of 10%. The median time to progression was 3.6 months with an overall survival of 7.1 months. The median survival of this group of patients from first becoming androgen independent was 23.5 months. Eight of 17 (47%) patients who were subsequently re-challenged with hormonal therapy following failure of chemotherapy had a further PSA reduction, three (17%) of which were >50%. The median progression-free interval for the eight patients was 4 months. In conclusion, CL56 has a low objective response rate in the management of absolute hormone refractory prostate cancer. Toxicity was mild. Re-induction of hormone sensitivity following failure of chemotherapy was an unexpected finding that requires further study.

von Koch CS, Schmidt MH, Uyehara-Lock JH, et al.
The role of PCV chemotherapy in the treatment of central neurocytoma: illustration of a case and review of the literature.
Surg Neurol. 2003; 60(6):560-5 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Most central neurocytomas follow a benign clinical course. However, more aggressive variants have been described requiring additional surgical resection, radiation, or chemotherapy. Chemotherapy has rarely been used as an adjuvant therapy for central neurocytomas.
METHODS: We report a case of a 20-year-old girl who underwent four subtotal resections, over the course of 3 years, for a large central neurocytoma that continued to progress. She was not a candidate for stereotactic radiosurgery, given the large tumor size. To avoid radiation injury in a young patient, she was treated with six cycles of chemotherapy including procarbazine, CCNU, and vincristine. Procarbazine was stopped after 2 cycles because of the development of a rash. Serial magnetic resonance imaging was used to follow treatment response.
RESULTS: Her tumor started to decrease in size after 2 cycles of chemotherapy and continued to shrink until it stabilized after 5 cycles of chemotherapy. A small area of residual tumor with minimal enhancement persisted along the left lateral ventricle and remained stable for at least 16 months after the completion of chemotherapy.
CONCLUSIONS: To our knowledge, this is only the fourth report describing the use of chemotherapy for progression of central neurocytomas as a treatment alternative to radiation therapy. The use of procarbazine, CCNU, and vincristine has not been previously described for the treatment of a central neurocytoma and presents an additional treatment option.

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