[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Anaplastic oligodendroglioma is a malignant brain tumor uniquely sensitive to treatment with both chemotherapy and radiotherapy. There are few prospective clinical trials for newly diagnosed patients and multiple approaches to the treatment of these patients. This study explored the recommended treatment offered by experts in neuro-oncology. A Web-based survey was developed and distributed to 800 members of the Society of Neuro-Oncology (SNO) who had an e-mail address listed with SNO. Questions addressed use of molecular genetic information and treatment recommendations. A total of 99 clinical SNO members (20%) responded. The majority reported practicing at an academic center in the United States. Two-thirds of respondents see more than five patients with newly diagnosed anaplastic oligodendroglioma annually. Molecular genetic testing was requested for more than 75% of patients, and the results significantly influenced treatment recommendations (p = 0.000003). Regardless of molecular genetic status, the most commonly recommended treatment was the use of concurrent temozolomide and radiotherapy followed by adjuvant temozolomide (18%-34%). The current survey demonstrates that although neuro-oncologists have embraced the use of molecular genetic studies in newly diagnosed anaplastic oligodendroglioma, treatment recommendations vary widely and are often independent of the molecular data.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: This is one of the few studies that have explored the value of baseline symptoms and health-related quality of life (HRQOL) in predicting survival in brain cancer patients. Baseline HRQOL scores (from the EORTC QLQ-C30 and the Brain Cancer Module (BN 20)) were examined in 490 newly diagnosed glioblastoma cancer patients for the relationship with overall survival by using Cox proportional hazards regression models. Refined techniques as the bootstrap re-sampling procedure and the computation of C-indexes and R(2)-coefficients were used to try and validate the model. Classical analysis controlled for major clinical prognostic factors selected cognitive functioning (P=0.0001), global health status (P=0.0055) and social functioning (P<0.0001) as statistically significant prognostic factors of survival. However, several issues question the validity of these findings. C-indexes and R(2)-coefficients, which are measures of the predictive ability of the models, did not exhibit major improvements when adding selected or all HRQOL scores to clinical factors. While classical techniques lead to positive results, more refined analyses suggest that baseline HRQOL scores add relatively little to clinical factors to predict survival. These results may have implications for future use of HRQOL as a prognostic factor in cancer patients.
British Journal of Cancer 08/2007; 97(3):302-7. · 5.08 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To evaluate the hypothesis that adults with partially resected (PR<50% resection) supratentorial low-grade glioma (LGG) benefit from higher doses of radiation.
Patients receiving post-operative radiation for WHO grade I-II LGG at the University of Western Ontario between 1979 and 2001 were studied. Patient characteristics evaluated included: age, gender, symptom duration>30 days, seizures at presentation, Karnofsky performance status (KPS)<70, astrocytoma pathology (AS), and radiation dose. A Cox proportional hazard regression model was constructed to test the influence of radiation dose.
One hundred and seven patients were analyzed. Patients who had PR were not significantly different from those with STR (subtotal/total resection) in terms of patient characteristics. Median survival (MST) of PR patients who received<or=50 Gy was 16.5 months while those who received>50 Gy had a MST of 109.2 months. The interaction of radiation dose and extent of resection was tested after controlling for other patient factors by Cox regression model. The interaction was highly significant for both OS and PFS (P=0.013 and P=0.003, respectively). This model remained significant after excluding six patients receiving doses<42 Gy (OS, P=0.024, and PFS, P=0.001).
The outcome for patients with LGG is dependent on extent of tumor resection and radiation dose. Patients with PR should be considered for higher radiation dose schedules (>50 Gy). Future trials on therapeutic strategies for LGG should consider stratification of patients by extent of tumor resection. Our data suggests that one dose does not fit all.
Journal of Neuro-Oncology 04/2007; 82(2):165-70. · 3.12 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Methylation of the O6-methylguanine-DNA methyltransferase (MGMT) gene promoter (i.e., gene silencing) occurs in 40% to 50% of patients with glioblastoma and predicts benefit from temozolomide chemotherapy; when unmethylated, MGMT repairs DNA damage induced by temozolomide, contributing to chemoresistance. In this study, we tested the hypothesis that MGMT is regulated by p53 in astrocytic cells, the precursors of which may give rise to glioblastoma. p53 is of interest because, in addition to often being mutated in glioblastoma, inactivation sensitizes some astrocytoma cell lines to temozolomide. MGMT expression was examined in neonatal murine astrocytes and SF767 human astrocytic glioma cells following p53 inactivation by knockout (murine only) or RNAi methods. MGMT mRNA and protein were detected in murine wild-type p53 astrocytes. However, in knockout murine astrocytes and wild-type cells in which p53 was inhibited by RNAi, MGMT expression was reduced by >90%. This effect of p53 on MGMT expression was unrelated to MGMT promoter methylation-in both wild-type and p53-null astrocytes, the MGMT promoter was unmethylated. In wild-type astrocytes, the p53 protein localized to a regulatory region of the MGMT promoter. In SF767 human astrocytic glioma cells, transient knockdown of p53 led to the down-regulation of MGMT gene expression. In murine astrocytes and SF767 cells, p53 regulates MGMT expression without affecting promoter methylation; in astrocytes, this effect may be due to direct binding of p53 to the MGMT promoter. These results imply that the best use of temozolomide requires a thorough understanding of MGMT regulation.
Cancer Research 02/2007; 67(2):580-4. · 8.65 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To determine the response rate, time to disease progression, survival, and toxicity of intravenous carboplatin and chronic oral high-dose tamoxifen in patients with recurrent malignant gliomas.
Patients with histological confirmation of recurrent malignant gliomas were eligible for this multicenter phase II trial. Treatment consisted of 400 mg/m2 carboplatin intravenously every 4 weeks and oral high dose chronic tamoxifen (80 mg bid in women and 100 mg bid in men).
Twenty seven patients met the eligibility criteria and were evaluable for response. The histological subtypes were: 16 (59%) glioblastoma multiforme (GBM), malignant astrocytoma (5 patients), malignant mixed glioma (5 patients), and glioblastoma/gliosarcoma (1 patient). Twenty-two patients (82%) had an ECOG performance status of 0 or 1. No complete responses were observed, 4 patients (15%) achieved a partial response, and 14 patients (52%) had stable disease. Median time to progression was 3.65 months (95%CI 2.56, 4.83). Median overall survival was 14.09 months (95%CI 7.06, 19.91). One patient with a recurrent GBM had a sustained partial response and is progression free 81 months since starting treatment. Another patient with mixed malignant oligoastrocytoma also had a prolonged partial response (lasting 63 months) and is alive 84 months after treatment for recurrence. The most frequently reported grade 3 or 4 toxicities were fatigue (19%), nausea (11%) and anorexia (11%).
Carboplatin and high dose tamoxifen has similar response rates to other regimens for recurrent malignant gliomas and are probably equivalent to those found using tamoxifen as monotherapy. Long-lasting periods of disease free survival in some patients (particularly those with malignant mixed oligo astrocytomas) were found.
Journal of Neuro-Oncology 08/2006; 78(3):311-6. · 3.12 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We previously reported a phase 2 trial of 69 patients with newly diagnosed anaplastic or aggressive oligodendroglioma who were treated with intensive procarbazine, CCNU (lomustine), and vincristine (PCV) followed by high-dose thiotepa with autologous stem cell rescue. This report summarizes the long-term follow-up of the cohort of 39 patients who received high-dose thiotepa with autologous stem cell support. Thirty-nine patients with a median age of 43 (range, 18-67) and a median KPS of 100 (range, 70-100) were treated. Surviving patients now have a median follow-up of 80.5 months (range, 44-142). The median progression-free survival is 78 months, and median overall survival has not been reached. Eighteen patients (46%) have relapsed. Neither histology nor prior low-grade oligodendroglioma correlated with risk of relapse. Persistent nonenhancing tumor at transplant was identified in our initial report as a significant risk factor for relapse; however, long-term follow-up has not confirmed this finding. Long-term neurotoxicity has developed only in those patients whose disease relapsed and required additional therapy; no patient in continuous remission has developed a delayed neurologic injury. This treatment strategy affords long-term disease control to a subset of patients with newly diagnosed anaplastic oligodendroglioma without evidence of delayed neurotoxicity or myelodysplasia.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Treatment of malignant glioma requires a multidisciplinary team. Treatment includes surgery, radiotherapy, and chemotherapy. Recently developed agents have demonstrated activity against recurrent malignant glioma and efficacy if given concurrently with radiotherapy in the upfront setting. Oligodendroglioma with 1p/19q deletions has been recognized as a distinct pathologic entity with particular sensitivity to radiotherapy and chemotherapy. Randomized trials have shown that early neoadjuvant or adjuvant administration of procarbazine, lomustine, and vincristine chemotherapy prolongs disease-free survival; however, it has no impact on overall survival. Temozolomide, a novel alkylating agent, has shown modest activity against recurrent glioma. In combination with radiotherapy in newly diagnosed patients with glioblastoma, temozolomide significantly prolongs survival. Molecular studies have demonstrated that the benefit is mainly observed in patients whose tumors have a methylated methylguanine methyltransferase gene promoter and are thus unable to repair some of the chemotherapy-induced DNA damage. For lower-grade glioma, the use of chemotherapy remains limited to recurrent disease, and first-line administration is the subject of ongoing clinical trials. Irinotecan and agents like gefitinib, erlotinib, and imatinib targeting the epidermal growth factor receptor and platelet-derived growth factor receptor have shown some promise in recurrent malignant glioma. This review summarizes recent developments, focusing on the clinical management of patients in daily neuro-oncology practice.
The Oncologist 03/2006; 11(2):165-80. · 4.10 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Glioblastoma multiforme is the most common primary brain tumor in adults. Until recently, the standard of care consisted of maximal surgical resection followed by external beam radiotherapy. The role of adjuvant chemotherapy for newly diagnosed glioblastoma has been controversial; most of the numerous randomized phase III trials conducted over the past 40 years have failed to show a statistically significant and clinically meaningful survival advantage for patients randomized to the chemotherapy arm. Consequently, the choices of chemotherapeutics for patients with glioblastoma have been limited, and cytotoxic treatment regimens have usually included a nitrosourea. Temozolomide, a relatively new orally administered methylating agent, has demonstrable activity in glioma. A recent trial conducted under the auspices of the European Organization for the Research and Treatment of Cancer (EORTC) and National Cancer Institute of Canada Clinical Trials Group (NCIC CTG) has defined a role for temozolomide in the initial management of glioblastoma. A companion correlative tumor-biology study has identified epigenetic silencing of the promoter of the gene that encodes MGMT (O6-methylguanine-DNA methyltransferase) in tumor specimens as a strong and independent prognostic factor for survival among patients with a newly diagnosed glioblastoma, as well as a predictor of survival benefit from chemoradiotherapy with temozolomide. This review briefly summarizes the development of temozolomide as a therapy for patients with malignant brain tumors, emphasizing recent trials that have established a new standard of care for patients with glioblastoma and speculating on how these advances might influence future therapeutic investigations for malignant primary brain tumors.
Nature Clinical Practice Neurology 01/2006; 1(2):88-95. · 7.64 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: p53 inactivation sensitizes U87MG astrocytic glioma cells to 1,3-bis(2-chloroethyl)-1-nitrosourea (BCNU) and temozolomide (TMZ), drugs used clinically to treat high-grade astrocytomas. In this report, we examined the effect of p53 inactivation on the chemosensitivity of two additional human astrocytic glioma cell lines, D54 and A172, in order to assess whether sensitization is a general property of astrocytic tumor cells. Compared to control cells with intact p53 function, derived lines in which p53 was inactivated displayed significantly reduced clonogenic survival after exposure to BCNU and TMZ. Sensitization to both BCNU and TMZ was associated with failure of p21(WAF1) induction, lack of a sustained G2 cell cycle arrest and significant tumor cell death. These findings suggest that enhanced sensitivity to BCNU and TMZ is a general property of human astrocytic glioma cells in which p53 was disrupted. In contrast, p53 inactivation rendered D54 and U87MG cells significantly more resistant to cis-dichlorodiamminoplatinum (CDDP), another chemotherapeutic to which high-grade astrocytomas sometimes respond. These results indicate that p53 status influences the chemosensitivity of astrocytic glioma cells in a drug-type specific manner, a finding that may have implications for the selection of drug treatments for patients with astrocytic gliomas.
Journal of Neuro-Oncology 10/2005; 74(2):141-9. · 3.12 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Pifithrin-alpha (PFTalpha) is a small molecule inhibitor of p53. By reversibly blocking apoptosis in response to DNA damage, PFTalpha protects normal cells from lethal doses of gamma-radiation (Komarov et al., Science, 1999;285:1733-7). We examined the effect of PFTalpha on the chemosensitivity of a human cancer in which cell cycle arrest, not apoptosis, is the principle cellular consequence of p53 activation. This was of interest because E6 silencing of p53 sensitizes U87MG astrocytic glioma cells to BCNU and temozolomide (TMZ), cytotoxic drugs that are modestly helpful in the treatment of aggressive astrocytic gliomas. We observed that exposure of U87MG cells to PFTalpha before cytotoxic chemotherapy attenuated p53-mediated induction of p21WAF1 protein levels, sensitizing U87MG cells to BCNU and TMZ. Sensitization of U87MG cells was associated with G1 arrest, delayed entry into S-phase and decreased repair of DNA damage by BCNU. Our findings suggest that in addition to protecting normal cells from the toxic effects of radiation and chemotherapy, small molecule inhibitors of p53, like PFTalpha, might play a role in clinical oncology by sensitizing certain resistant cancers to cytotoxic chemotherapies.
International Journal of Cancer 09/2005; 116(2):187-92. · 6.20 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Epigenetic silencing of the MGMT (O6-methylguanine-DNA methyltransferase) DNA-repair gene by promoter methylation compromises DNA repair and has been associated with longer survival in patients with glioblastoma who receive alkylating agents.
We tested the relationship between MGMT silencing in the tumor and the survival of patients who were enrolled in a randomized trial comparing radiotherapy alone with radiotherapy combined with concomitant and adjuvant treatment with temozolomide. The methylation status of the MGMT promoter was determined by methylation-specific polymerase-chain-reaction analysis.
The MGMT promoter was methylated in 45 percent of 206 assessable cases. Irrespective of treatment, MGMT promoter methylation was an independent favorable prognostic factor (P<0.001 by the log-rank test; hazard ratio, 0.45; 95 percent confidence interval, 0.32 to 0.61). Among patients whose tumor contained a methylated MGMT promoter, a survival benefit was observed in patients treated with temozolomide and radiotherapy; their median survival was 21.7 months (95 percent confidence interval, 17.4 to 30.4), as compared with 15.3 months (95 percent confidence interval, 13.0 to 20.9) among those who were assigned to only radiotherapy (P=0.007 by the log-rank test). In the absence of methylation of the MGMT promoter, there was a smaller and statistically insignificant difference in survival between the treatment groups.
Patients with glioblastoma containing a methylated MGMT promoter benefited from temozolomide, whereas those who did not have a methylated MGMT promoter did not have such a benefit.
New England Journal of Medicine 03/2005; 352(10):997-1003. · 51.66 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Glioblastoma, the most common primary brain tumor in adults, is usually rapidly fatal. The current standard of care for newly diagnosed glioblastoma is surgical resection to the extent feasible, followed by adjuvant radiotherapy. In this trial we compared radiotherapy alone with radiotherapy plus temozolomide, given concomitantly with and after radiotherapy, in terms of efficacy and safety.
Patients with newly diagnosed, histologically confirmed glioblastoma were randomly assigned to receive radiotherapy alone (fractionated focal irradiation in daily fractions of 2 Gy given 5 days per week for 6 weeks, for a total of 60 Gy) or radiotherapy plus continuous daily temozolomide (75 mg per square meter of body-surface area per day, 7 days per week from the first to the last day of radiotherapy), followed by six cycles of adjuvant temozolomide (150 to 200 mg per square meter for 5 days during each 28-day cycle). The primary end point was overall survival.
A total of 573 patients from 85 centers underwent randomization. The median age was 56 years, and 84 percent of patients had undergone debulking surgery. At a median follow-up of 28 months, the median survival was 14.6 months with radiotherapy plus temozolomide and 12.1 months with radiotherapy alone. The unadjusted hazard ratio for death in the radiotherapy-plus-temozolomide group was 0.63 (95 percent confidence interval, 0.52 to 0.75; P<0.001 by the log-rank test). The two-year survival rate was 26.5 percent with radiotherapy plus temozolomide and 10.4 percent with radiotherapy alone. Concomitant treatment with radiotherapy plus temozolomide resulted in grade 3 or 4 hematologic toxic effects in 7 percent of patients.
The addition of temozolomide to radiotherapy for newly diagnosed glioblastoma resulted in a clinically meaningful and statistically significant survival benefit with minimal additional toxicity.
New England Journal of Medicine 03/2005; 352(10):987-96. · 51.66 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In modern clinical neuro-oncology, no variable affects therapeutic decisions and prognostic estimation more than tumor classification.
The most widely used method of brain tumor classification is that of the World Health Organization (WHO), most recently revised
in 2000 (51), which is based on microscopic examination of tissue by a pathologist. The WHO classification divides nervous system tumors
into many nosological entities (Table 1) and assigns a grade of I to IV, grade I being benign and grade IV being highly malignant.
Although, in the majority of cases, the assignment of tumors in the WHO classification system is relevant and appropriate,
unfortunately there are many situations in which this classification is problematic, primarily because pathological diagnosis
remains quite subjective (67). For example, some brain tumors are difficult to place neatly into one of the categories. For others, the histological diagnosis
and corresponding predicted clinical behavior do not concur with the actual clinical course. Finally, it is doubtful that
the current histopathological system alone will accurately predict patient response to targeted therapies once available.
As such, information capable of augmenting the WHO system could result in marked improvements in the current approach to brain
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Molecular subsets of oligodendroglioma behave in biologically distinct ways. Their locations in the brain, rates of growth, and responses to therapy differ with their genotypes. Retrospectively, we inquired whether allelic loss of chromosomal arms 1p and 19q, an early molecular event and favorable prognostic marker in oligodendrogliomas, were reflected in their appearance on magnetic resonance imaging. Loss of 1p and 19q was associated with an indistinct border on T(1) images and mixed intensity signal on T(1) and T(2). Loss of 1p and 19q was also associated with paramagnetic susceptibility effect and with calcification, a common histopathological finding in oligodendrogliomas. These data encourage prospective evaluation of molecular alterations and magnetic resonance imaging characteristics of glial neoplasms.
Clinical Cancer Research 08/2004; 10(13):4303-6. · 7.84 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To prospectively compare standard radiation therapy (RT) with an abbreviated course of RT in older patients with glioblastoma multiforme (GBM).
One hundred patients with GBM, age 60 years or older, were randomly assigned after surgery to receive either standard RT (60 Gy in 30 fractions over 6 weeks) or a shorter course of RT (40 Gy in 15 fractions over 3 weeks). The primary end point was overall survival. The secondary end points were proportionate survival at 6 months, health-related quality of life (HRQoL), and corticosteroid requirement. HRQoL was assessed using the Karnofsky performance status (KPS) and Functional Assessment of Cancer Therapy-Brain (FACT-Br).
All patients had died at the time of analysis. Overall survival times measured from randomization were similar at 5.1 months for standard RT versus 5.6 months for the shorter course (log-rank test, P =.57). The survival probabilities at 6 months were also similar at 44.7% for standard RT versus 41.7% for the shorter course (lower-bound 95% CI, -13.7). KPS scores varied markedly but were not significantly different between the two groups (Wilcoxon test, P =.63). Low completion rates of the FACT-Br (45%) precluded meaningful comparisons between the two groups. Of patients completing RT as planned, 49% of patients (standard RT) versus 23% required an increase in posttreatment corticosteroid dosage (chi(2) test, P =.02).
There is no difference in survival between patients receiving standard RT or short-course RT. In view of the similar KPS scores, decreased increment in corticosteroid requirement, and reduced treatment time, the abbreviated course of RT seems to be a reasonable treatment option for older patients with GBM.
Journal of Clinical Oncology 06/2004; 22(9):1583-8. · 18.04 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Anaplastic oligodendroglioma is a chemosensitive glial neoplasm. To improve disease control and postpone cranial radiotherapy, we designed a phase II study of intensive procarbazine, lomunstine and vincristine followed by high-dose thiotepa with autologous stem cell rescue for patients with newly diagnosed anaplastic or aggressive oligodendroglioma.
Sixty-nine patients with a median age of 42 (range: 18-67) and a median Karnofsky Performance Score of 90 (range: 70-100) were enrolled. Sixteen patients had a prior diagnosis of low-grade oligodendroglioma and 16 had mixed oligoastrocytoma pathology. Only patients with demonstrably chemosensitive enhancing tumors or those free of enhancing tumor after surgery and induction therapy were eligible to receive high-dose thiotepa.
Thirty-nine patients (57%) completed the transplant regimen; their estimated median progression-free survival is 69 months and median overall survival has not been reached. Twelve transplanted patients (31%) relapsed. Neither histology nor prior low-grade oligodendroglioma correlated with relapse; however, persistent non-enhancing tumor at transplant conferred an increased risk of relapse (p = 0.028). The transplant regimen was well-tolerated; median hospital stay was 20 days (range: 7-43) with a median time to ANC and platelet engraftment of 10 days. Thirty patients (43%) did not receive high-dose thiotepa because of stable or progressive disease (n = 21), excessive toxicity (n = 4), refusal of further therapy (n = 2), failure to obtain insurance coverage (n = 2), or other (n = 1). No treatment-related or long-term neurotoxicity was seen in the transplanted patients.
High-dose chemotherapy with stem cell rescue as initial treatment for anaplastic oligodendroglioma is feasible and associated with prolonged tumor control in some patients.
Journal of Neuro-Oncology 12/2003; 65(2):127-34. · 3.12 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Oligodendrogliomas are a common variant of malignant brain tumors, and are unique for their relative sensitivity to chemotherapy and better prognosis. For these reasons, the identification of an objective oligodendroglial marker has been a long sought-after goal in the field of neuro-oncology. To this end, 75 patients who received chemotherapy at the London Regional Cancer Centre between 1984 and 1999 were studied (Ino et al., Clinical Cancer Research, 7, 839-845, 2001). Of these 75 patients, 50 were initially treated with chemotherapy (the current practice) and comprise a population-based sample. The remaining 25 patients were initially treated with radiation and were included in the study only because their tumor recurred, at which time they received chemotherapy. Because this group of 25 patients included neither those radiation patients whose tumors never recurred nor those radiation patients whose tumors recurred but were not treated with chemotherapy, issues of selection bias were of concern. For this reason, the initial analysis of these data included only the 50 population-based patients. This was unsatisfying given the rarity of this disease and of genetic information on this disease and led us to question whether we could undertake an analysis that includes all of the patients. Here we examine approaches for utilizing the entire study population, as well as the assumptions required for doing so. We illustrate that there are both costs and benefits to using the 25 selected patients.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Although many patients with oligodendrogliomas (ODs) and oligoastrocytomas (OAs) benefit from a combination of surgery and adjuvant radiotherapy, most patients eventually experience recurrence of their disease. Recent evidence has shown that ODs are more chemosensitive than other gliomas, including astrocytomas or glioblastoma multiforme. These initial findings have prompted further study of chemotherapy in treating ODs and mixed OAs. Advances in molecular genetic analysis have led to improvements in predicting response to chemotherapy and prognosis for ODs, OAs, and astrocytomas. Pure ODs are more chemosensitive than mixed ODs. This difference is related to different proportions of 1p/19q loss of heterozygosity in these neoplasms. Therefore, genetic analysis is likely to be key in determining appropriate treatment. The most common first-line chemotherapy for patients with OD is a procarbazine, lomustine, and vincristine (PCV) combination regimen. However, this regimen is associated with cumulative myelosuppression, nausea, vomiting, and weight loss. Therefore, other chemotherapy agents and regimens have been investigated. Perhaps the most promising is temozolomide, a novel alkylating agent that freely crosses the blood-brain barrier. Temozolomide is approved in the United States for the treatment of recurrent anaplastic astrocytomas and in Europe for any recurrent high-grade gliomas. Initial reports suggest that temozolomide is effective in treating ODs as first- and second-line chemotherapy. Unlike the PCV regimen, temozolomide is not associated with cumulative myelosuppression and is usually well tolerated. Further studies are needed to confirm the efficacy and safety profile of temozolomide and to determine the optimal dose and schedule for treating ODs.