Chemotherapy of Brain Metastases from Lung Carcinoma: A Controlled Randomized Study


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Abstract

A controlled randomized study was carried out to evaluate the effects of chemotherapy in patients with brain metastases from lung carcinoma. One hundred patients were randomly divided into three groups at the time of diagnosis or after surgery for metastases. Group A received radiotherapy alone; Group B received radiotherapy and chloroethylnitrosoureas (methyl-CCNU, 100-120 mg/m2, or ACNU 80-100 mg/m2, every 6-8 weeks), and Group C received radiotherapy and a combination of chloroethylnitrosoureas and tegafur (300 mg/m2. daily). Of the 100 patients, 88 could be evaluated. The reduction rates of the tumors of the patients in whom tumor was not surgically removed or not totally removed were compared. Complete resolution of the tumor was noted in 29, 69, and 63% of the patients in Groups A, B, and C, respectively, Tumor regression of ≥50% was seen in 36, 69. and 74% of the patients in Groups A, B, and C, respectively. The difference in the response rates of Groups A and C was statistically signficiant (P<0.05). Median survival after the start of treatment for brain metastasis was 27, 30.5, and 29 weeks in Groups A, B, and C, respectively. There was 1 long-term survivor (more than 5 years) in Group A, 3 in Group B, and 1 in Group C. The main cause of death was deterioration attributable to the primary lesion or systemic metastasis, and no statistical difference was noted in survival time among the groups. Our results indicate that combination chemotherapy with chloroethylnitrosoureas and tegafur has an additive effect on radiotherapy in reducing or eliminating brain metastases from lung carcinoma, and that brain metastasis is well controlled by multidisciplinary treatment including chemotherapy. (Neurosurgery 28:201-205, 1991)

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