Re-irradiation for recurrent glioma- the NCI experience in tumor control, OAR toxicity and proposal of a novel prognostic scoring system

Radiat Oncol. 2017 Nov 29;12(1):191. doi: 10.1186/s13014-017-0930-9.


Purpose/objectives: Despite mounting evidence for the use of re-irradiation (re-RT) in recurrent high grade glioma, optimal patient selection criteria for re-RT remain unknown. We present a novel scoring system based on radiobiology principles including target independent factors, the likelihood of target control, and the anticipated organ at risk (OAR) toxicity to allow for proper patient selection in the setting of recurrent glioma.

Materials/methods: Thirty one patients with recurrent glioma who received re-RT (2008-2016) at NCI - NIH were included in the analysis. A novel scoring system for overall survival (OS) and progression free survival (PFS) was designed to include:1) target independent factors (age, KPS (Karnofsky Performance Status), histology, presence of symptoms), 2) target control, and 3) OAR toxicity risk. Normal tissue complication probability (NTCP) calculations were performed using the Lyman model. Kaplan-Meier analysis was performed for overall survival (OS) and progression free survival (PFS) for comparison amongst variables.

Results: No patient, including those who received dose to OAR above the published tolerance dose, experienced any treatment related grade 3-5 toxicity with a median PFS and OS from re-RT of 4 months (0.5-103) and 6 months (0.7-103) respectively. Based on cumulative maximum doses the average NTCP was 25% (0-99%) for the chiasm, 21% (0-99%) for the right optic nerve, 6% (0-92%) for the left optic nerve, and 59% (0-100%) for the brainstem. The independent factor and target control scores were each statistically significant for OS and the combination of independent factors plus target control was also significant for both OS (p = 0.02) and PFS (p = 0.006). The anticipated toxicity risk score was not statistically significant.

Conclusion: Our scoring system may represent a novel approach to patient selection for re-RT in recurrent high grade glioma. Further validation in larger patient cohorts including compilation of doses to tumor and OAR may help refine this further for inclusion into clinical trials and general practice.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Brain Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Brain Neoplasms / radiotherapy
  • Female
  • Glioma / pathology*
  • Glioma / radiotherapy
  • Humans
  • Karnofsky Performance Status
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasm Recurrence, Local / pathology*
  • Neoplasm Recurrence, Local / radiotherapy
  • Organs at Risk / radiation effects*
  • Prognosis
  • Radiotherapy Dosage
  • Radiotherapy, Intensity-Modulated / methods
  • Re-Irradiation / mortality*
  • Survival Rate
  • Young Adult