Objective: To determine the efficacy of the combination of 6-thioguanine, procarbazine, lomustine, and hydroxyurea for patients with recurrent malignant gliomas after failure of either previous radiotherapy alone or previous radiotherapy plus nitrosourea-based chemotherapy.
Methods: Seventy-seven patients with recurrent malignant gliomas were studied. 6-Thioguanine was administered for 4 days before lomustine, and procarbazine was administered for 1 day before and 2 days after lomustine to potentiate lomustine's antitumor effect. Hydroxyurea was initiated 1 day before lomustine and continued for a total of 3 days.
Results: Thirty patients with glioblastomas and 47 patients with anaplastic gliomas were eligible for evaluation. In the glioblastoma group, 2 of 30 patients had a partial response and 8 of 30 patients had stable disease. This group of patients who responded and had stable disease included 6 of 10 patients who had not undergone previous chemotherapy but only 4 of 20 who had undergone previous chemotherapy. The overall median time to disease progression for the glioblastoma group was 9 weeks. In the anaplastic glioma group, 11 of 47 patients had a partial response and 25 of 47 had stable disease, including 23 of 30 without previous chemotherapy and 13 of 17 who had undergone previous chemotherapy. The median time to disease progression for the whole anaplastic glioma group was 24 weeks; however, the time to disease progression was 50 weeks for responding patients who had not undergone previous chemotherapy and 25 weeks for those who had undergone previous chemotherapy.
Conclusion: Our results indicate that chemotherapy with a combination of 6-thioguanine, procarbazine, lomustine, and hydroxyurea is active for patients with recurrent anaplastic gliomas and glioblastomas not previously treated with nitrosourea-based chemotherapy but is inactive for patients with glioblastomas previously treated with chemotherapy.