Retreatment of Intracranial Gliomas

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Although intracranial gliomas carry a poor long-term prognosis, retreatment at the time of tumor progression may prolong survival and maintain or improve the quality of life. Thirty-three patients who underwent retreatment with surgery, radiotherapy, and chemotherapy were reviewed retrospectively. Median survival after initiation of retreatment was 8 months for glioblastoma, 13 months for anaplastic astrocytoma, 22 months for astrocytoma, and 47 months for oligodendroglioma/mixed glioma. Survival was significantly better for younger patients and for those with better functional status. One third of patients were neurologically improved by surgery. Surgical morbidity was minimal (2.1%); there was no surgical mortality. Chemotherapy and radiotherapy produced expected adverse reactions. Retreatment of intracranial gliomas carries acceptable risk and is beneficial in selected patients. Decisions regarding retreatment must be carefully individualized with consideration of the quality of life and the wishes of the patient and family.

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