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Patients diagnosed with glioblastoma (GBM) are treated with surgery followed by fractionated radiotherapy with concurrent and adjuvant temozolomide. Patients are monitored with serial magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). However, treatment-related changes frequently mimic disease progression. We reviewed a series of patients undergoing surgery for presumed first-recurrence GBM, where pathology reports were available for tissue diagnosis, in order to better understand factors associated with a diagnosis of treatment-related changes on final pathology.
Patient records at a single institution between 2005 and 2015 were retrospectively reviewed. Pathology reports were reviewed to determine diagnosis of recurrent GBM or treatment effect. Survival analysis was performed interrogating overall survival (OS) and progression-free survival (PFS). Correlation with radiation treatment plans was also examined.
One-hundred-twenty-three patients were identified. One-hundred-sixteen patients (94%) underwent resection and seven underwent biopsy. Treatment-related changes were reported in 20 cases (16%). These patients had longer median OS and PFS from the time of recurrence than patients with true disease progression. However, there was no significant difference in OS from the time of initial diagnosis. Treatment effect was associated with surgery within 90 days of completing radiation. In patients receiving radiation at our institution (n = 53), larger radiation target volume and a higher maximum dose were associated with treatment effect.
Treatment effect was associated with surgery nearer to completion of radiation, a larger radiation target volume, and a higher maximum point dose. Treatment effect was associated with longer PFS and OS from the time of recurrence, but not from the time of initial diagnosis.
Chemoradiotherapy followed by monthly temozolomide (TMZ) is the standard of care for patients with glioblastoma multiforme (GBM). Case reports have identified GBM patients who experienced transient radiological deterioration after concurrent chemoradiotherapy which stabilized or resolved after additional cycles of adjuvant TMZ, a phenomenon known as radiographic pseudoprogression. Little is known about the natural history of radiographic pseudoprogression.
We retrospectively evaluated the incidence of radiographic pseudoprogression in a population-based cohort of GBM patients and determined its relationship with outcome and MGMT promoter methylation status.
Out of 43 evaluable patients, 25 (58%) exhibited radiographic progression on the first MRI after concurrent treatment. Twenty of these went on to receive adjuvant TMZ, and subsequent investigation demonstrated radiographic pseudoprogression in 10 cases (50%). Median survival (MS) was better in patients with pseudoprogression (MS 14.5 months) compared to those with true radiologic progression (MS 9.1 months, p=0.025). The MS of patients with pseudoprogression was similar to those who stabilized/responded during concurrent treatment (p=0.31). Neither the extent of the initial resection nor dexamethasone dosing was associated with pseudoprogression.
These data suggest that physicians should continue adjuvant TMZ in GBM patients when early MRI scans show evidence of progression following concurrent chemoradiotherapy, as up to 50% of these patients will experience radiologic stability or improvement in subsequent treatment cycles.
Cancer immunogene therapy is based on vaccination with radiated, autologous tumor cells transduced with immunostimulatory genes. To help determine an optimal glioma immunogene therapy strategy, we stimulated lymphocytes with autologous human glioma cells transduced with B7-2 (CD86), granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor (GM-CSF), and/or interleukin-12 (IL12).
A human glioma-derived cell culture (Ed147.BT) was transduced with B7-2, GM-CSF, and/or IL12 using retroviral vectors. Autologous peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) were co-cultured with irradiated gene-transduced tumor alone or a combination of radiated wild type and gene-transduced cells. Peripheral blood mononuclear cells proliferation was determined by serial cell counts. Peripheral blood mononuclear cells phenotype was assessed by flow cytometry for CD4, CD8, and CD16. Anti-tumor cytotoxicity was determined by chromium-51 (51Cr) release assay.
Peripheral blood mononuclear cells cell numbers all decreased during primary stimulation but tumor cells expressing B7-2 or GM-CSF consistently caused secondary proliferation. Tumors expressing B7-2 and GM-CSF or B7-2, GM-CSF, and IL12 consistently increased PBMC CD8+ (cytotoxic T) and CD16+ (natural killer) percentages. Interestingly, anti-tumor cytotoxicity only exceeded that of PBMC stimulated with wild type tumor alone when peripheral blood mononuclear cells were stimulated with both wild type tumor and B7-2/GM-CSF- (but not IL12) transduced cells.
PBMC proliferation and phenotype is altered as expected by exposure to immunostimulatory gene-transduced tumor. However, transduced tumor cells alone do not stimulate greater anti-tumor cytotoxicity than wild type tumor. Only B7-2/GM-CSF-transduced cells combined with wild type produced increased cytotoxicity. This may reflect selection of tumor subclones with limited antigenic spectra during retrovirus-mediated gene transfer.
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