Hypofractionated stereotactic radiotherapy combined with chemotherapy or not in the management of recurrent malignant gliomas: A systematic review and meta-analysis

Clin Neurol Neurosurg. 2019 Aug:183:105401. doi: 10.1016/j.clineuro.2019.105401. Epub 2019 Jun 25.


Hypofractionated stereotactic radiotherapy (HFSRT) is a common salvage treatment for recurrent malignant glioma (MG). However, it remains controversial whether the combination of HFSRT and chemotherapy could improve survival for patients with recurrent MG compared to HFSRT alone. The present systematic review and meta-analysis aims to investigate this question, and tries to determine to what extent the addition of chemotherapy to HFSRT affects survival. A systematic review was performed to analyse the survival for patients treated with HFSRT combined with chemotherapy or not. Hazard ratios (HRs) with 95% confidence intervals (CIs) for overall survival (OS) were pooled with random effects; and standard mean difference (MD) with 95% CIs for OS were pooled using the same strategy. A total of 7 studies including 388 patients with recurrent MG were eligible for our study. The OS survival of patients receiving combination therapy ranged from 8.7 to 23 months, and the median OS of patients underwent HFSRT ranged from 3.9 to 12 months. The meta-analyses resulted in the pooled HR of 0.44 (95% CI 0.30-0.65, p < 0.0001) (Cochran Q statistic 4.70, P = 0.320, I2 = 14.8%) and pooled standard MD of 0.80 months (95% CI 0.41-1.18, p < 0.001) (Cochran Q statistic 10.16, p = 0.71, I2 = 50.8%). The present study suggests that HFSRT + chemotherapy confers a slight survival improvement for patients with recurrent MG as compared with sole HFSRT management. To draw a more solid conclusion, greater investigation is warranted.

Keywords: Chemotherapy; Combination treatment; HFSRT; Meta-analysis; Recurrent malignant glioma; Survival.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Brain Neoplasms / radiotherapy*
  • Brain Neoplasms / surgery
  • Dose Fractionation, Radiation
  • Glioma / pathology
  • Glioma / radiotherapy*
  • Humans
  • Neoplasm Recurrence, Local / diagnosis
  • Neoplasm Recurrence, Local / radiotherapy*
  • Radiation Dose Hypofractionation*
  • Radiosurgery* / methods
  • Salvage Therapy / methods