Purpose: A randomized study was undertaken to assess the role of brachytherapy as a boost to external beam radiation therapy in the initial management of patients with malignant astrocytomas. Methods and Materials: Inclusion criteria included the following: biopsy-proven supratentorial malignant astrocytoma of brain ≤6 cm in size, not crossing midline or involving corpus callosum, age 18-70, Karnofsky Performance Status (KPS) ≤70. Patients were randomized to external radiation therapy only delivering 50 Gray (Gy) in 25 fractions over 5 weeks or external radiation therapy plus a temporary stereotactic iodine-125 implants delivering a minimum peripheral tumor dose of 60 Gy. Patients were stratified to age ≤50 or > 50, and KPS ≤90 or ≤80. Results: There were 140 patients randomized between 1986 and 1996, 71 to the implant arm and 69 to external irradiation only. Pathologically 125 patients had necrosis noted in their tumor specimen. Factors associated with improved survival in univariate analysis were age ≤50, KPS ≤90, chemotherapy at recurrence, and reoperation at the original tumor site. The Cox proportional hazards model revealed the following significant factors: treatment at recurrence (chemotherapy or reoperation) with a relative risk (RR) of 0.6 (p = 0.004) and KPS ≤90 with a RR 0.6 (p = 0.007). Randomization to the implant arm was associated with a RR of 0.7 (p = 0.07). Median survival for patients randomized to brachytherapy or not were 13.8 vs. 13.2 months, respectively, p = 0.49. Conclusions: We conclude that stereotactic radiation implants have not demonstrated a statistically significant improvement in survival in the initial management of patients with malignant astrocytoma.
N.J., L., P.M.K., L., S., M., M., M., S., W., J., G., … M., B. (1998). Randomized study of brachytherapy in the initial management of patients with malignant astrocytoma. International Journal of Radiation Oncology Biology Physics, 41(5), 1005–1011. Retrieved from http://www.embase.com/search/results?subaction=viewrecord&from=export&id=L28377480