Initial Results of a Phase 2 Trial of 18F-DOPA PET-Guided Dose-Escalated Radiation Therapy for Glioblastoma

Nadia Nicole Laack, Deanna Pafundi, S. Keith Anderson, Timothy Kaufmann, Val Lowe, Christopher Hunt, Diane Vogen, Elizabeth Yan, Jann Sarkaria, Paul Brown, Sani Kizilbash, Joon Uhm, Michael Ruff, Mark Zakhary, Yan Zhang, Maasa Seaberg, Hok Seum Wan Chan Tseung, Brian Kabat, Bradley Kemp, Debra Brinkmann

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: Our previous work demonstrated that 3,4-dihydroxy-6-[18F]-fluoro-L-phenylalanine (18F-DOPA) positron emission tomography (PET) is sensitive and specific for identifying regions of high density and biologically aggressive glioblastoma. The purpose of this prospective phase 2 study was to determine the safety and efficacy of biologic-guided, dose-escalated radiation therapy (DERT) using 18F-DOPA PET in patients with glioblastoma. Methods and Materials: Patients with newly diagnosed, histologically confirmed glioblastoma aged ≥18 years without contraindications to 18F-DOPA were eligible. Target volumes included 51, 60, and 76 Gy in 30 fractions with a simultaneous integrated boost, and concurrent and adjuvant temozolomide for 6 months. 18F-DOPA PET imaging was used to guide DERT. The study was designed to detect a true progression-free survival (PFS) at 6 months (PFS6) rate ≥72.5% in O6‐methylguanine methyltransferase (MGMT) unmethylated patients (DE-Un), with an overall significance level (alpha) of 0.20 and a power of 80%. Kaplan-Meier analysis was performed for PFS and overall survival (OS). Historical controls (HCs) included 139 patients (82 unmethylated) treated on prospective clinical trials or with standard RT at our institution. Toxicities were evaluated with Common Terminology Criteria for Adverse Events v4.0. Results: Between January 2014 and December 2018, 75 evaluable patients were enrolled (39 DE-Un, 24 methylated [DE-Mth], and 12 indeterminate). PFS6 for DE-Un was 79.5% (95% confidence interval, 63.1%-90.1%). Median PFS was longer for DE-Un patients compared with historical controls (8.7 months vs 6.6 months; P = .017). OS was similarly longer, but the difference was not significant (16.0 vs 13.5 months; P = .13). OS was significantly improved for DE-Mth patients compared with HC-Mth (35.5 vs 23.3 months; P = .049) despite nonsignificant improvement in PFS (10.7 vs 9.0 months; P = .26). Grade 3 central nervous system necrosis occurred in 13% of patients, but treatment with bevacizumab improved symptoms in all cases. Conclusions: 18F-DOPA PET–guided DERT appears to be safe, and it significantly improves PFS in MGMT unmethylated glioblastoma. OS is significantly improved in MGMT methylated patients. Further investigation of 18F-DOPA PET biologic guided DERT for glioblastoma is warranted.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1383-1395
Number of pages13
JournalInternational Journal of Radiation Oncology Biology Physics
Issue number5
StatePublished - Aug 1 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiation
  • Oncology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Cancer Research


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