Anaplastic astrocytoma in adults

Crit Rev Oncol Hematol. 2007 Jul;63(1):72-80. doi: 10.1016/j.critrevonc.2007.03.003. Epub 2007 May 2.


Anaplastic astrocytoma is an uncommon disease in the adult population. Prognosis is influenced by age, symptom duration, mental status and Karnofsky performance status. A truly complete resection, which is a recognized independent prognostic factor, is not possible and recurrence in the surgical cavity is common. Based on randomized data available, chemotherapy has consistently failed to improve the outcome of patients with anaplastic astrocytoma, while a meta-analysis showed a small, but significant improvement in survival favouring the use of chemotherapy. Outside a clinical trial, postoperative radiotherapy (30 x 2 Gy) remains the standard adjuvant therapy for most patients. For elderly patients, the application of treatment is usually based on performance status and neurological function. In recurrent disease, chemotherapy with temozolomide has been proven to be active and well-tolerated in phase II trials, but no comparative phase III trials of other cytotoxic drugs have been conducted.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Antineoplastic Agents, Alkylating / administration & dosage
  • Antineoplastic Agents, Alkylating / therapeutic use*
  • Astrocytoma / drug therapy*
  • Astrocytoma / epidemiology
  • Astrocytoma / pathology
  • Astrocytoma / radiotherapy
  • Astrocytoma / surgery
  • Brain Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Brain Neoplasms / epidemiology
  • Brain Neoplasms / pathology
  • Brain Neoplasms / radiotherapy
  • Brain Neoplasms / surgery
  • Clinical Trials as Topic
  • Clinical Trials, Phase II as Topic
  • Dacarbazine / administration & dosage
  • Dacarbazine / analogs & derivatives*
  • Dacarbazine / therapeutic use
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasm Recurrence, Local / drug therapy
  • Prognosis
  • Risk Factors
  • Survival Analysis
  • Temozolomide


  • Antineoplastic Agents, Alkylating
  • Dacarbazine
  • Temozolomide