Phase II evaluation of recombinant interferon alpha and BCNU in recurrent glioma

J. C. Buckner, L. D. Brown, J. W. Kugler, T. L. Cascino, J. E. Krook, J. A. Mailliard, C. G. Kardinal, L. K. Tschetter, J. R. O'Fallon, B. W. Scheithauer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

70 Scopus citations


The goal of this study was to determine the antitumor activity and toxicity of 1,3-bis(2-chloroethyl)-1-nitrosourea (BCNU) plus recombinant interferon-alpha (IFN-α) in patients with recurrent glioma. As single agents, both BCNU and IFN-α can cause tumor regression in patients with recurrent glioma. In vitro studies suggest synergy between the two agents. Thirty-five patients in whom computerized tomography (CT) or magnetic resonance (MR) evidence was obtained of progressive astrocytoma, oligoastrocytoma, or oligodendroglioma received recombinant IFN-α(2a) (12 x 106 U/m2 intramuscularly) on Days 1 through 3 and BCNU (150 mg/m2 intravenously) on Day 3 of each 6-week cycle. All patients had tumor progression despite radiation therapy and had received no prior chemotherapy. Response was assessed by CT or MR evidence and by neurological examination while the patients were on a regimen of stable or decreasing doses of corticosteroids. All patients could be evaluated for response and toxicity. Twenty-nine percent of the patients demonstrated objective tumor regression; 37% remained stable for more than 6 months and 25% were stable for less than 6 months. The median duration of response to IFN-α and BCNU was 9.9 months and the median survival for all patients was 13.3 months. Toxicity consisted primarily of moderate myelosuppression, venous irritation, vomiting, flulike symptoms, and transient reversible exacerbation of underlying neurological symptoms. The use of BCNU plus IFN-α is a safe, active regimen in the treatment of patients with recurrent glioma who have failed to respond to prior radiation therapy. The contribution of IFN to the antitumor activity observed in this study compared with that previously described with BCNU alone cannot be assessed from this trial.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)430-435
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of neurosurgery
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1995


  • BCNU
  • astrocytoma
  • brain neoplasm
  • chemotherapy
  • interferon

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Clinical Neurology


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