Hypofractionation in glioblastoma multiforme
ABSTRACT Purpose: To compare conventional fractionation with hypofractionation in patients with a glioblastoma multiforme. Endpoints of the analysis are overall survival and palliative effect.Materials and methods: From 1988 to 1998, 155 patients with pathologically confirmed glioblastoma multiforme were prospectively analysed. Patients without irradiation and patients receiving an interstitial boost were excluded from this analysis. Three different radiation schemes were used in subsequent periods; 33×2, 8×5 and 4×7 Gy. In the last 5 years a scheme of 4×7 Gy conformal irradiation was given to poor prognosis patients. The more favourable group received the conventionally fractionated scheme up to 66 Gy.Results: Median survival was 7, 5.6 and 6.6 months for the 33×2, 8×5 and 4×7 Gy, respectively. In general, patients in the hypofractionation group had far worse prognostic factors compared with patients treated with the conventional scheme. The period of neurological improvement or stabilisation was similar between the 4×7 and 33×2 Gy group.Conclusion: An extreme hypofractionation scheme of 4×7 Gy conformal irradiation in poor prognostic glioblastoma patients is well tolerated, convenient for the patient and provides equal palliation without negative effects on survival compared with conventional fractionation.