Phase II Trial with BCNU plus α-Interferon in Patients with Recurrent High-Grade Gliomas

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A Phase II study with a combination of BCNU and α-interferon (IFN) was conducted in patients with high-grade glioma recurrent after surgery and radiation treatment in order to investigate tumor control and toxicity. Twenty-one non-chemotherapy pretreated patients were administered 6 MU α-IFN in a 2-h infusion followed by 150 mg/m2 BCNU i.v. on day 1. Three MU α-IFN were subsequently administered subcutaneously on alternating days three times a week, until recycling of the whole procedure on day 42. Among 21 patients, partial remission was obtained in 7 (33%; 95% CI = 15-57) and stable disease in 6 (29%; CI = 11-52); overall Kaplan-Meier median time to progression (TTP) was 4.5 months (CI = 4-9) and the overall median survival time (MST) was 7 months (CI = 5-13). In patients who underwent surgical redebulking prior to chemotherapy, TTP and MST were 9 (CI = 7-14) and 15 months (CI = 11.0-39.0); in patients who were not operated on again before chemotherapy, these values were 4 (CI = 2-5; log rank test, p = 0.0026) and 5.5 months (CI = 4-7; log rank test, p = 0.0012) respectively. The results of this regimen in relapsing patients, especially following surgical redebulking, are encouraging; toxicity is acceptable, and further studies on combined α-IFN and multiple-agent chemotherapy are warranted.

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