Background: Brainstem glioma carries the worst prognosis of all malignancies of the brain. Most patients with brainstem glioma fail standard radiation therapy and chemotherapy and do not survive longer than 2 years. Treatment is even more challenging when an inoperable tumor is of high-grade pathology (HBSG). The objective of this report is to summarize the outcome of patients with HBSG treated with antineoplastons in 4 phase 2 trials.
Patients: The following group of 18 patients was evaluable: 4 patients with glioblastomas and 14 patients with anaplastic HBSG. Fourteen patients had diffuse intrinsic tumors. Twelve patients suffered from recurrence, and 6 patients did not have radiation therapy or chemotherapy.
Methods: Antineoplastons, which consist of antineoplaston A10 (A10I) and AS2-1 injections, were given in escalating doses by intravenous injections. The median duration of antineoplaston administration was 5 months, and the average dosage of A10I was 9.22 g/kg/d and of AS2-1 was 0.31 g/kg/d. Responses were assessed by gadolinium-enhanced magnetic resonance imaging and positron emission tomography.
Results: The overall survival at 2 and 5 years was 39% and 22%, respectively, and maximum survival was more than 17 years for a patient with anaplastic astrocytoma and more than 5 years for a patient with glioblastoma. Progression-free survival at 6 months was 39%. Complete response was achieved in 11%, partial response in 11%, stable disease in 39%, and progressive disease in 39% of patients. Antineoplastons were tolerated very well with 1 case of grade 4 toxicity (reversible anemia).
Conclusion: Antineoplastons contributed to more than a 5-year survival in recurrent diffuse intrinsic glioblastomas and anaplastic astrocytomas of the brainstem in a small group of patients.