Background: While procarbazine, CCNU (lomustine), and vincristine (PCV) has been an alternative chemotherapy option for malignant gliomas, it is worth investigating whether the combination of only procarbazine and CCNU is comparable because vincristine adds toxicity with uncertain benefit. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the feasibility of procarbazine and CCNU chemotherapy for recurrent glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) with O6-methylguanine-DNA-methyltransferase (MGMT) promoter methylation. Methods: Eight patients with recurrent GBM following concurrent chemoradiotherapy and temozolomide (TMZ) adjuvant therapy were enrolled in this trial; they received no other chemotherapeutic agents or target therapy. They received CCNU (75 mg/m2) on day 1 and procarbazine (60 mg/m2) through days 11 and 24 every 4 weeks. The median cycle of CCNU and procarbazine was 3.5 (range: 2-6). Results: One patient achieved stable disease. The median progression-free survival (PFS) with procarbazine and CCNU chemotherapy was eight weeks (range: 5-73), and the PFS rates were 25% and 12.5% at 16 and 30 weeks, respectively. The median overall survival (OS) from the initial diagnosis to death was 40 months, and the median OS from the administration of procarbazine and CCNU chemotherapy to death was 9.7 months (95% confidence interval: 6.7-12.7). Serious adverse events were found at six visits, and two cases were considered to be grade 3 toxicities. Conclusion: The efficacy of procarbazine and CCNU chemotherapy is not satisfactory. This study suggests the need to develop other treatment strategies for recurrent and TMZ-refractory GBM. Trial registry at ClinicalTrials.gov, NCT017337346.
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