Initial and cumulative recurrence patterns of glioblastoma after temozolomide-based chemoradiotherapy and salvage treatment: a retrospective cohort study in a single institution

Radiat Oncol. 2013 Apr 23;8:97. doi: 10.1186/1748-717X-8-97.


Purpose: To analyze initial recurrence patterns in patients with newly diagnosed glioblastoma after radiotherapy plus concurrent and adjuvant temozolomide, and to investigate cumulative recurrence patterns after salvage treatment, including surgery, stereotactic radiotherapy, and chemotherapy.

Methods: Twenty-one patients with glioblastoma that recurred after concurrent temozolomide and localized radiotherapy were retrospectively analyzed (11 male, 10 female; median age, 57 years; range, 27-74). Disease progression was assessed by new response criteria proposed by the Response Assessment in Neuro-Oncology Working Group of the American Society of Clinical Oncology. The pattern of recurrence was determined by relationships between locations of recurrent tumors and irradiated doses. Central, in-field, marginal, and out-field recurrences were defined relative to the prescribed isodose line. Distant recurrence was operationally defined as subependymal or disseminated disease. Initial and cumulative patterns of recurrence were evaluated in each patient.

Results: The median follow-up of the recurrent patients was 501 (range, 217-1815) days after initial surgery. Initial recurrences were central in 14 patients (66.7%), in-field in four patients (19.0%), marginal in no patient (0%), out-field in two patients (9.5%), and distant in four patients (19.0%). One patient had both central and in-field recurrences simultaneously, and two had both central and distant recurrences. In the analysis of cumulative recurrence patterns, five patients, who had no scans after initial recurrences, were excluded and the remaining 16 were included. Cumulative recurrences were central in 11 patients (68.8%), in-field in five patients (31.3%), marginal in three patients (18.8%), out-field in five patients (31.3%), and distant in 14 patients (87.5%). Regarding salvage treatments, 11 (52.4%), 11 (52.4%) and 17 (81.0%) patients underwent surgery, stereotactic radiotherapy and chemotherapy, respectively. Eighteen (85.7%) patients had died at the time of analysis, and 16 of them (88.9%) had suffered distant recurrences, which could have been the immediate causes of death.

Conclusions: Recurrence patterns of glioblastoma after radiotherapy plus concomitant and adjuvant temozolomide were mainly central at first, and distant recurrences were often detected during the clinical course. Much better local control and prevention of distant recurrence, including effective salvage treatment, seem to be important.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Antineoplastic Agents / administration & dosage
  • Brain Neoplasms / mortality
  • Brain Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Brain Neoplasms / therapy*
  • Chemoradiotherapy*
  • Cohort Studies
  • Dacarbazine / administration & dosage
  • Dacarbazine / analogs & derivatives
  • Female
  • Glioblastoma / mortality
  • Glioblastoma / pathology*
  • Glioblastoma / therapy*
  • Humans
  • Kaplan-Meier Estimate
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasm Recurrence, Local / mortality
  • Neoplasm Recurrence, Local / pathology*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Salvage Therapy*
  • Temozolomide


  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • Dacarbazine
  • Temozolomide