Thermoradiotherapy of recurrent malignant brain tumors
Stem Cell Transplantation
In an attempt to improve local control and survival over those achieved with brain implant alone, a Phase I/II study of interstitial thermoradiotherapy was undertaken for recurrent malignant gliomas and recurrent solitary brain metastases. Between June 1987 and September 1990, 49 tumors in 48 patients were treated with thermoradiotherapy, including 26 glioblastoma multiforme (GM), 16 anaplastic astrocytomas (AA), 4 adenocarcinomas, and 3 melanomas. Patient age ranged from 18 to 71 years and Karnofsky Performance Status from 40 to 90. Stereotactically implanted catheters were used for both hyperthermia and brachytherapy. Hyperthermia was administered immediately before and after brachytherapy, heating as much of the tumor as possible to 42.5 degrees C for 30 min using helical coil microwave antennas. High-activity iodine-125 sources delivered tumor doses of 32.6 to 63.3 Gy. Complications included reversible neurologic changes in 13 patients, 9 seizures, 4 infections, 1 deep venous thrombosis with pulmonary embolus, and 1 scalp burn. Eighteen patients underwent reoperation for tumor and/or necrosis. Follow-up ranged from 9 to 166+ weeks. The median follow-up for living patients with GM and AA was 37 weeks and 92 weeks, respectively. Actuarial median survival was 47 weeks for patients with GM. For patients with AA, actuarial survival was 65% at 18 months and median survival has not yet been reached. Multivariate analysis showed a strong correlation between freedom from local tumor progression and "T90" temperature or minimum tumor temperature. Interstitial brain thermoradiotherapy is now being evaluated in a randomized Phase II trial for previously untreated GM.