Randomized phase II adjuvant factorial study of dose-dense temozolomide alone and in combination with isotretinoin, celecoxib, and/or thalidomide for glioblastoma

Neuro Oncol. 2015 Feb;17(2):266-73. doi: 10.1093/neuonc/nou155. Epub 2014 Sep 19.


Background: Chemoradiation, followed by adjuvant temozolomide, is the standard treatment for newly diagnosed glioblastoma. Adding other active agents may enhance treatment efficacy.

Methods: The primary objective of this factorial phase II study was to determine if one of 3 potential chemotherapy agents added to dose-dense temozolomide (ddTMZ) improves progression-free survival (PFS) for patients with newly diagnosed glioblastoma. A prior phase I trial established the safety of combining ddTMZ with isotretinoin, celecoxib, and/or thalidomide. Adults with good performance status and no evidence of progression post chemoradiation were randomized into 8 arms: ddTMZ alone (7 days on/7 days off) or doublet, triplet, and quadruplet combinations with isotretinoin, celecoxib, and thalidomide.

Results: The study enrolled 155 participants with a median age of 53 years (range, 18-84 y). None of the agents demonstrated improved PFS when compared with arms not containing that specific agent. There was no difference in PFS for triplet compared with doublet regimens, although a trend for improved overall survival (OS) was seen (20.1 vs 17.0 months, P = .15). Compared with ddTMZ, the ddTMZ + isotretinoin doublet had worse PFS (10.5 vs 6.5 months, P = .043) and OS (21.2 vs 11.7 months, P = .037). Trends were also seen for worse outcomes with isotretinoin-containing regimens, but there was no impact with celecoxib or thalidomide combinations. Treatment was well tolerated with expected high rates of lymphopenia.

Conclusions: The results do not establish a benefit for these combinations but indicate that adding isotretinoin to ddTMZ may be detrimental. This study demonstrated the feasibility and utility of the factorial design in efficiently testing drug combinations in newly diagnosed glioblastoma.

Clinicaltrialsgov identifier: NCT00112502.

Keywords: celecoxib; factorial design; glioblastoma; isotretinoin; temozolomide; thalidomide.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial, Phase II
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Antineoplastic Agents, Alkylating / therapeutic use*
  • Brain Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Celecoxib
  • Chemotherapy, Adjuvant
  • Dacarbazine / administration & dosage
  • Dacarbazine / analogs & derivatives*
  • Dacarbazine / therapeutic use
  • Disease-Free Survival
  • Drug Combinations
  • Female
  • Glioblastoma / drug therapy*
  • Humans
  • Isotretinoin / administration & dosage
  • Isotretinoin / therapeutic use*
  • Kaplan-Meier Estimate
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pyrazoles / administration & dosage
  • Pyrazoles / therapeutic use*
  • Sulfonamides / administration & dosage
  • Sulfonamides / therapeutic use*
  • Temozolomide
  • Thalidomide / administration & dosage
  • Thalidomide / therapeutic use*
  • Young Adult


  • Antineoplastic Agents, Alkylating
  • Drug Combinations
  • Pyrazoles
  • Sulfonamides
  • Thalidomide
  • Dacarbazine
  • Isotretinoin
  • Celecoxib
  • Temozolomide

Associated data

  • ClinicalTrials.gov/NCT00112502