Despite advances in neurosurgery and radiotherapy, the prognosis of patients with glioblastoma multiforme remains poor. Reports in the literature about the radiosensitizing properties of paclitaxel stimulated the authors to conduct a study using paclitaxel concurrently with radiation in a group of 18 patients who had residual disease postoperatively. Paclitaxel was delivered weekly as an intravenous infusion in a dose of 60 mg/m2 along with radiation to the primary lesion. A total of 108 cycles of paclitaxel was given. All the patients tolerated the treatment well. The main side effects were haematological, and neuropathy which was self-limiting. The overall 1-year survival rate was 70%, with 12 patients alive at 13 months. The median survival has not yet been reached although it is more than 13 months. Thus, paclitaxel can be safely delivered concomitantly with radiation in patients with glioblastoma multiforme. Larger, randomized trials are required to establish the comparative efficacy of paclitaxel as a radiosensitizer in glioblastoma multiforme.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging