The metastasis of solid tumors to the brain is associated with a poor prognosis despite aggressive treatment. Available treatment options are limited, as many chemotherapeutic agents do not penetrate the blood-brain barrier. Temozolomide (Temodar in the United States, Temodal globally; Schering Corporation, Kenilworth, NJ) is a novel chemotherapeutic agent with a good safety profile that crosses the blood-brain barrier and has shown activity against many human solid tumors. In two phase II trials of temozolomide in heavily pretreated patients with various solid tumor brain metastases, temozolomide was safe and generally well tolerated and showed clinical activity, with three partial responses and 19 disease stabilizations. Results of a third randomized phase II trial of concurrent administration of temozolomide and radiation therapy followed by adjuvant temozolomide therapy compared with radiation alone showed a higher rate of complete and partial responses (objective response of 96% v 67%) and significantly more complete responses (38% v 33%, P =.017), primarily in patients with newly diagnosed brain and lung metastases.
Copyright 2001 by W.B. Saunders Company.