Hong Kong Med J 2012;18:221–5 | Number 3, June 2012
Pseudoprogression of malignant glioma in Chinese patients receiving concomitant chemoradiotherapy
Danny TM Chan, Rebecca YT Ng, Deyond YW Siu, Peggy Tang, Michael KM Kam, Brigette BY Ma, George KC Wong, Stephanie CP Ng, Jesse CS Pang, Claire KY Lau, XL Zhu, HK Ng, WS Poon
The CUHK Brain Tumour Centre, Department of Surgery, Prince of Wales Hospital, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Shatin, Hong Kong
OBJECTIVES. To investigate the frequency of pseudoprogression of glioblastoma in Chinese patients receiving concomitant chemoradiotherapy and investigate its association with pseudoprogression and tumour molecular marker O6-methylguanine-DNA methyltransferase promoter methylation status.
DESIGN. Case series with internal comparisons.
SETTING. University teaching hospital, Hong Kong.
PATIENTS. Patients with glioblastoma treated with concomitant chemoradiotherapy during April 2005 to June 2010 were reviewed. Magnetic resonance imaging brain scans, pre- and post-concomitant chemoradiotherapy and 3-monthly thereafter were reviewed by an independent neuroradiologist according to Macdonald's criteria. Relevant patient information (clinical condition, performance score, development of new neurological deficits, use of steroids, and survival) was retrieved. For each patient, O6-methylguanine-DNA methyltransferase methylation status was investigated with genomic DNA from formalin-fixed or paraffin-embedded sections of tumour tissues by methylation-specific polymerase chain reaction.
RESULTS. During the study period, 28 primary glioblastoma patients underwent concomitant chemoradiotherapy. The mean age of the patients was 48 (range, 16-71) years. Thirteen patients (13/28, 46%) developed early radiological progression of the tumour after completion of concomitant chemoradiotherapy, of whom five (39%) were subsequently found to have had pseudoprogression. Patients with pseudoprogression showed a trend towards longer survival (22 months in pseudoprogression vs 17 months in all others vs 11 months in those with genuine progression). Among the 27 patients tested for O6-methylguanine-DNA methyltransferase promoter status, 12 (44%) were methylated. Two (2/12, 17%) in the methylated group had pseudoprogression, while three (3/15, 20%) in the unmethylated group had pseudoprogression.
CONCLUSIONS. Nearly half of all patients (46%) developed early radiological progression (within 3 months of completing concomitant chemoradiotherapy). Moreover, about one in three of such patients had pseudoprogression. Pseudoprogression is an important clinical condition to be aware of to prevent premature termination of an effective treatment.
Key words: Antineoplastic agents, alkylating; Biological markers; Brain neoplasms; Glioblastoma; O(6)-Methylguanine-DNA methyltransferase
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