The EORTC trial which solidified the role of external beam radiotherapy (EBRT) plus temozolomide (TMZ) in the management of GBM excluded patients over age 70. Randomized studies of elderly patients showed that hypofractionated EBRT (HFRT) alone or TMZ alone was at least equivalent to conventionally fractionated EBRT (CFRT) alone. We sought to investigate the practice patterns and survival in elderly patients with GBM. We identified patients age 65–90 in the National Cancer Data Base (NCDB) with histologically confirmed GBM from 1998 to 2012 and known chemotherapy and radiotherapy status. We analyzed factors predicting treatment with EBRT alone vs. EBRT plus concurrent single-agent chemotherapy (CRT) using multivariable logistic regression. Similarly, within the EBRT alone cohort we compared CFRT (54–65 Gy at 1.7–2.1 Gy/fraction) to HFRT (34–60 Gy at 2.5-5 Gy/fraction). Multivariable Cox proportional hazards model (MVA) with propensity score adjustment was used to compare survival. A total of 38,862 patients were included. Initial treatments for 1998 versus 2012 were: EBRT alone = 50 versus 10%; CRT = 6 versus 50%; chemo alone = 1.6% (70% single-agent) versus 3.2% (94% single-agent). Among EBRT alone patients, use of HFRT (compared to CFRT) increased from 13 to 41%. Numerous factors predictive for utilization of CRT over EBRT alone and for HFRT over CFRT were identified. Median survival and 1-year overall survival were higher in the CRT versus EBRT alone group at 8.6 months vs. 5.1 months and 36.0 versus 15.7% (p < 0.0005 by log-rank, multivariable HR 0.65 [95% CI = 0.61–0.68, p < 0.0005], multivariable HR with propensity adjustment 0.66 [95% CI = 0.63–0.70, p < 0.0005]). For elderly GBM patients in the United States, CRT is the most common initial treatment and appears to offer a survival advantage over EBRT alone. Adoption of hypofractionation has increased over time but continues to be low.
Journal of Neuro-Oncology – Springer Journals
Published: May 19, 2017
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