Phase III comparative evaluation of PCNU and carmustine combined with radiation therapy for high-grade glioma

Robert P. Dinapoli, Loren D. Brown, Robert M. Arusell, John D. Earle, Judith R. O'Fallon, Jan C. Buckner, Bernd W. Scheithouer, James E. Krook, Loren K. Tschetter, Jon A. Maier, Delano M. Pfeifle, Dean H. Gesme

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

88 Scopus citations


Purpose: We performed a randomized trial to compare survival distributions and toxicity of radiation therapy (RT) and PCNU with those of RT and carmustine (BCNU) in patients with malignant glioma. Patients and Methods: A total of 346 patients with histologically verified supratentorial grade 3 and grade 4 astrocytoma were studied. After surgery, patients were randomly assigned to receive RT 60 Gy in 30 fractions and either PCNU 100 mg/m2 or BCNU 200 mg/m2 every 7 weeks for 1 year and every 10 weeks for the second year. RT and chemotherapy were started within 72 hours of randomization and usually on the same day. Of 334 assessable patients, 72% had partial or radical resection and 71 % had grade 4 tumors. Median age was 59 years, and 85% had performance scores of 0 to 2 (Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group [ECOG]). The follow-up duration of 51 living patients ranged from 10.3 to 63.2 months, with a median of 36.2 months. Results: The median survival duration in each group was 47 weeks, and median time to progression was 28 weeks. PCNU produced significantly more leukopenia and thrombocytopenia, whereas BCNU produced significantly more nausea, vomiting, and irritation. Conclusion: PCNU has no therapeutic advantage at this dose and schedule and does not warrant further study as a single agent for patients with high-grade glioma.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1316-1321
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Clinical Oncology
Issue number7
StatePublished - 1993

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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