Radiotherapy management of patients diagnosed with glioma in Victoria (1998–2000): A retrospective cohort study

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This study aimed to describe the radiotherapy (RT) management and subsequent outcome in a cohort of patients with newly diagnosed glioma. Treatment details were obtained via a questionnaire completed by neurosurgeons, radiation and medical oncologists who treated patients diagnosed with glioma in Victoria during 1998–2000. Patients were identified by using the population-based Victorian Cancer Registry. Over the study period, data on 828 patients were obtained, of whom 612 (74%) were referred for consideration of RT. Radiotherapy was given to 496 patients as part of their initial treatment and to an additional 10 patients at the time of tumour recurrence or progression. The median age was 72 (16–85) years. Median overall survival (OS) was 9.2 (standard error (SE) 0.6) months for the entire group. Median OS was 29.1 (SE 8.0) and 7.4 (SE 0.4) months for all patients with histological confirmation of World Health Organization Grades III (anaplastic astrocytoma) and IV (glioblastoma multiforme) histology, respectively. A total of 47 different RT dose fractionation schedules were identified. This is the largest survey detailing management of glioma with RT, published to date. A marked variation in dose fractionation schemes was evident. While current best practice involves the use of chemotherapy in conjunction with RT for glioblastoma multiforme, advances in patient care may be undermined by this variation in the use of RT. Clinical trials relevant to an ageing population and evidence-based national clinical guidelines are required to define best practice.

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