Effect of anti-epileptic drugs on the survival of patients with glioblastoma multiforme: A retrospective, single-center study

Jae Yeoul Ryu, Kyoung Lok Min, Min Jung Chang

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12 Citations (Scopus)


Glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) is a lethal and aggressive malignant tumor of the central nervous system. The World Health Organization classifies it as a grade IV astrocytoma. Controlling seizures is essential during GBM treatment because they are often present and closely associated with the quality of life of GBM patients. Some antiepileptic drugs (AEDs) exhibit antitumor effects and could decrease the mortality of patients with GBM. In this retrospective cohort study, we examined 418 patients treated with surgery, radiotherapy, and chemotherapy with temozolomide (TMZ) at Severance Hospital in South Korea, per the current protocol. Median overall survival (OS) was 21 months [95% confidence interval (CI): 18.1–23.9] in the levetiracetam (LEV) treatment group, whereas it was 16 months [95% CI: 14.1–17.9] in the group without LEV, exhibiting a statistically significant difference between the two groups (P < 0.001). Of nine AED groups, only LEV treatment [P = 0.001; hazard ratio (HR), 0.65; 95% CI: 0.51–0.83] exhibited a statistically significant difference in the OS, in the univariate analysis. In the risk analysis of the baseline characteristics, age, administration of LEV, and O6-methylguanine-DNA methyltransferase (MGMT) promoter status correlated with OS. The use of LEV in the group with a methylated MGMT promoter resulted in a positive impact on the OS [P = 0.006; HR, 0.174; 95% CI: 0.050–0.608], but the effect of LEV on the OS was not statistically significant in the unmethylated MGMT promoter group (P = 0.623). This study suggests that, compared with other AEDs, the administration of LEV may prolong the survival period in GBM patients with methylated MGMT promoters, who are undergoing chemotherapy with TMZ.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0225599
JournalPloS one
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 2019 Dec 1

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This study was supported by the Yonsei University Research Fund of 2018-22-0023. The funder had no role in study design, data collection, analysis, decision to publish and preparation of the manuscript. We would like to thank Editage (www.editage.co.kr) for English language editing.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019 Ryu et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General


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