Patterns of re-irradiation for recurrent gliomas and validation of a prognostic score

Radiother Oncol. 2019 Jan:130:156-163. doi: 10.1016/j.radonc.2018.10.034. Epub 2018 Nov 13.


Purpose or objective: Re-irradiation is a generally accepted method for salvage treatment in patients with recurrent glioma. However, no standard radiation regimen has been defined. This study aims to compare the efficacy and safety of different treatment regimens and to independently externally validate a recently published reirradiation risk score.

Material and methods: We retrospectively analyzed a cohort of patients with recurrent malignant glioma treated with salvage conventionally fractionated (CFRT), hypofractionated (HFRT) or stereotactic radiotherapy (SRT) between 2007 and 2017 at the University Medical Centers in Utrecht and Groningen.

Results: Of the 121 patients included, 60 patients (50%) underwent CFRT, 22 (18%) HFRT and 39 (32%) SRT. The primary tumor was grade II-III in 52 patients and grade IV in 69 patients with median Overall Survival (mOS) since first surgery of 113 [Interquartile range: 53.2-137] and 39.7 [24.6-64.9] months respectively (p < 0.01). Overall, mOS from the first day of re-irradiation was 9.7 months [6.5-14.6]. No significant difference in mOS was found between the treatment groups. In multivariate analysis, the Karnofsky performance scale ≥70% (p < 0.01), re-irradiation for first recurrence (p = 0.02), longer time interval between RT start dates (p < 0.01) and smaller planning target volume (p < 0.05) were significant favorable prognostic factors. The reirradiation risk score was validated.

Conclusion: In our series, mOS after reirradiation was sufficient to justify use of this modality. Until a reliable treatment decision tool is developed based on larger retrospective research, the decision for re-irradiation schedule should remain personalized and based on a multidisciplinary evaluation of each patient.

Keywords: Glioma; Neoplasm recurrence, local; Radiosurgery; Radiotherapy dosage; Re-irradiation; Recurrence.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Brain Neoplasms / mortality
  • Brain Neoplasms / pathology
  • Brain Neoplasms / radiotherapy*
  • Dose Fractionation, Radiation
  • Female
  • Glioma / mortality
  • Glioma / pathology
  • Glioma / radiotherapy*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasm Recurrence, Local / radiotherapy*
  • Radiosurgery
  • Re-Irradiation*
  • Retrospective Studies