According to long-term follow-up results from the RTOG 9802 Study, adding a chemotherapy regimen following radiation therapy improved survival in adults with low-grade gliomas than in patients who received radiation therapy alone.

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The study, conducted by the Radiation Therapy Oncology Group (RTOG), enrolled patients with low-grade gliomas (n=251) between October 1998 and June 2002 to evaluate the role of chemotherapy following radiation treatment. Enrolled patients were at high risk compared to other patients with low-grade gliomas because they were either >40 years old or <40 years old with less than complete surgical tumor removal.

Following radiation therapy, half the patients stopped treatment and the other half received 6 cycles of “PCV” chemotherapy: procarbazine (P), CCNU (lomustine or “C”), and vincristine (V). PCV chemotherapy was given over 21 days every 8 weeks for a total of 6 cycles.

Results showed a significant improvement in overall survival for patients that received PCV chemotherapy + radiation therapy (13.3 years median survival time) vs. those receiving radiation alone (7.8 years median survival time). There is an ongoing analysis assessing how patients are doing based on the tumor’s molecular and genetic characteristics. Results from that analysis will help identify patients that are most likely to benefit from chemotherapy.

Full study details will be presented at a scientific meeting in 2014 and in a peer-reviewed publication.

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