Gliomas are the most common primary intracranial tumor, representing 81% of malignant brain tumors. Although relatively rare, they cause significant mortality and morbidity. Glioblastoma, the most common glioma histology (∼45% of all gliomas), has a 5-year relative survival of ∼5%. A small portion of these tumors are caused by Mendelian disorders, including neurofibromatosis, tuberous sclerosis, and Li-Fraumeni syndrome. Genomic analyses of glioma have also produced new evidence about risk and prognosis. Recently discovered biomarkers that indicate improved survival include O 6 -methylguanine-DNA methyltransferase methylation, isocitrate dehydrogenase mutation, and a glioma cytosine–phosphate–guanine island methylator phenotype. Genome-wide association studies have identified heritable risk alleles within 7 genes that are associated with increased risk of glioma. Many risk factors have been examined as potential contributors to glioma risk. Most significantly, these include an increase in risk by exposure to ionizing radiation and a decrease in risk by history of allergies or atopic disease(s). The potential influence of occupational exposures and cellular phones has also been examined, with inconclusive results. We provide a “state of the science” review of current research into causes and risk factors for gliomas in adults.
Gliomas are the most common primary intracranial tumor, representing 81% of malignant brain tumors. Although relatively rare, they cause significant mortality and morbidity. Glioblastoma, the most common glioma histology (similar to 45% of all gliomas), has a 5-year relative survival of similar to 5%. A small portion of these tumors are caused by Mendelian disorders, including neurofibromatosis, tuberous sclerosis, and Li-Fraumeni syndrome. Genomic analyses of glioma have also produced new evidence about risk and prognosis. Recently discovered biomarkers that indicate improved survival include O-6-methylguanine-DNA methyltransferase methylation, isocitrate dehydrogenase mutation, and a glioma cytosine-phosphate-guanine island methylator phenotype. Genome-wide association studies have identified heritable risk alleles within 7 genes that are associated with increased risk of glioma. Many risk factors have been examined as potential contributors to glioma risk. Most significantly, these include an increase in risk by exposure to ionizing radiation and a decrease in risk by history of allergies or atopic disease(s). The potential influence of occupational exposures and cellular phones has also been examined, with inconclusive results. We provide a "state of the science" review of current research into causes and risk factors for gliomas in adults.
This guideline provides recommendations for the use of PET imaging in gliomas. The review examines established clinical benefit in glioma patients of PET using glucose (F-18-FDG) and amino acid tracers (C-11-MET, F-18-FET, and (18) F-FDOPA). An increasing number of studies have been published on PET imaging in the setting of diagnosis, biopsy, and resection as well radiotherapy planning, treatment monitoring, and response assessment. Recommendations are based on evidence generated from studies which validated PET findings by histology or clinical course. This guideline emphasizes the clinical value of PET imaging with superiority of amino acid PET over glucose PET and provides a framework for the use of PET to assist in the management of patients with gliomas.
Background. Immune checkpoint inhibitors targeting programmed cell death 1 (PD1) or its ligand (PD-L1) showed activity in several cancer types. Methods. We performed immunohistochemistry for CD3, CD8, CD20, HLA-DR, phosphatase and tensin homolog (PTEN), PD-1, and PD-L1 and pyrosequencing for assessment of the O6-methylguanine-methyltransferase (MGMT) promoter methylation status in 135 glioblastoma specimens (117 initial resection, 18 first local recurrence). PD-L1 gene expression was analyzed in 446 cases from The Cancer Genome Atlas. Results. Diffuse/fibrillary PD-L1 expression of variable extent, with or without interspersed epithelioid tumor cells with membranous PD-L1 expression, was observed in 103 of 117 (88.0%) newly diagnosed and 13 of 18 (72.2%) recurrent glioblastoma specimens. Sparse-to-moderate density of tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes (TILs) was found in 85 of 117 (72.6%) specimens (CD3+ 78/117, 66.7%; CD8+ 52/117, 44.4%; CD20+ 27/117, 23.1%; PD1+ 34/117, 29.1%). PD1+ TIL density correlated positively with CD3+ (P<.001), CD8+ (P<.001), CD20+ TIL density (P<.001), and PTEN expression (P=.035). Enrichment of specimens with low PD-L1 gene expression levels was observed in the proneural and G-CIMP glioblastoma subtypes and in specimens with high PD-L1 gene expression in the mesenchymal subtype (P = 5.966e-10). No significant differences in PD-L1 expression or TIL density between initial and recurrent glioblastoma specimens or correlation of PD-L1 expression or TIL density with patient age or outcome were evident. Conclusion. TILs and PD-L1 expression are detectable in the majority of glioblastoma samples but are not related to outcome. Because the target is present, a clinical study with specific immune checkpoint inhibitors seems to be warranted in glioblastoma.
Background. To determine the protective effects of memantine on cognitive function in patients receiving whole-brain radiotherapy (WBRT). Methods. Adult patients with brain metastases received WBRT and were randomized to receive placebo or memantine (20 mg/d), within 3 days of initiating radiotherapy for 24 weeks. Serial standardized tests of cognitive function were performed. Results. Of 554 patients who were accrued, 508 were eligible. Grade 3 or 4 toxicities and study compliance were similar in the 2 arms. There was less decline in delayed recall in the memantine arm at 24 weeks (P = .059), but the difference was not statistically significant, possibly because there were only 149 analyzable patients at 24 weeks, resulting in only 35% statistical power. The memantine arm had significantly longer time to cognitive decline (hazard ratio 0.78, 95% confidence interval 0.62-0.99, P = .01); the probability of cognitive function failure at 24 weeks was 53.8% in the memantine arm and 64.9% in the placebo arm. Superior results were seen in the memantine arm for executive function at 8 (P = .008) and 16 weeks (P = .0041) and for processing speed (P = .0137) and delayed recognition (P = .0149) at 24 weeks. Conclusions. Memantine was well tolerated and had a toxicity profile very similar to placebo. Although there was less decline in the primary endpoint of delayed recall at 24 weeks, this lacked statistical significance possibly due to significant patient loss. Overall, patients treated with memantine had better cognitive function over time; specifically, memantine delayed time to cognitive decline and reduced the rate of decline in memory, executive function, and processing speed in patients receiving WBRT. RTOG0614, ClinicalTrials.gov number CT00566852.
Background. The epidermal growth factor receptor variant III deletion mutation, EGFRvIII, is expressed in similar to 30% of primary glioblastoma and linked to poor long-term survival. Rindopepimut consists of the unique EGFRvIII peptide sequence conjugated to keyhole limpet hemocyanin. In previous phase II trials (ACTIVATE/ACT II), rindopepimut was well tolerated with robust EGFRvIII-specific immune responses and promising progression-free and overall survival. This multicenter, single-arm phase II clinical trial (ACT III) was performed to confirm these results. Methods. Rindopepimut and standard adjuvant temozolomide chemotherapy were administered to 65 patients with newly diagnosed EGFRvIII-expressing (EGFRvIII+) glioblastoma after gross total resection and chemoradiation. Results. Progression-free survival at 5.5 months (similar to 8.5 mo from diagnosis) was 66%. Relative to study entry, median overall survival was 21.8 months, and 36-month overall survival was 26%. Extended rindopepimut vaccination (up to 3.5+ years) was well tolerated. Grades 1-2 injection site reactions were frequent. Anti-EGFRvIII antibody titers increased >= 4-fold in 85% of patients, and increased with duration of treatment. EGFRvIII was eliminated in 4/6 (67%) tumor samples obtained after >3 months of therapy. Conclusions. This study confirms, in a multicenter setting, the preliminary results seen in previous phase II trials of rindopepimut. A pivotal, double-blind, randomized, phase III trial ("ACT IV") is under way.
Therapeutic targeting of the immune checkpoints cytotoxic T-lymphocyte-associated molecule-4 (CTLA-4) and PD-1/PD-L1 has demonstrated tumor regression in clinical trials, and phase 2 trials are ongoing in glioblastoma (GBM). Previous reports have suggested that responses are more frequent in patients with tumors that express PD-L1; however, this has been disputed. At issue is the validation of PD-L1 biomarker assays and prognostic impact. Using immunohistochemical analysis, we measured the incidence of PD-L1 expression in 94 patients with GBM. We categorized our results according to the total number of PD-L1-expressing cells within the GBMs and then validated this finding in ex vivo GBM flow cytometry with further analysis of the T cell populations. We then evaluated the association between PD-L1 expression and median survival time using the protein expression datasets and mRNA from The Cancer Genome Atlas. The median percentage of PD-L1-expressing cells in GBM by cell surface staining is 2.77% (range: 0%-86.6%; n = 92), which is similar to the percentage found by ex vivo flow cytometry. The majority of GBM patients (61%) had tumors with at least 1% or more PD-L1-positive cells, and 38% had at least 5% or greater PD-L1 expression. PD-L1 is commonly expressed on the GBM-infiltrating T cells. Expression of both PD-L1 and PD-1 are negative prognosticators for GBM outcome. The incidence of PD-L1 expression in GBM patients is frequent but is confined to a minority subpopulation, similar to other malignancies that have been profiled for PD-L1 expression. Higher expression of PD-L1 is correlated with worse outcome.
Newly diagnosed glioblastoma is now commonly treated with surgery, if feasible, or biopsy, followed by radiation plus concomitant and adjuvant temozolomide. The treatment of recurrent glioblastoma continues to be a moving target as new therapeutic principles enrich the standards of care for newly diagnosed disease. We reviewed PubMed and American Society of Clinical Oncology abstracts from January 2006 to January 2012 to identify clinical trials investigating the treatment of recurrent or progressive glioblastoma with nitrosoureas, temozolomide, bevacizumab, and/or combinations of these agents. At recurrence, a minority of patients are eligible for second surgery or reirradiation, based on appropriate patient selection. In temozolomide-pretreated patients, progression-free survival rates at 6 months of 20% -30% may be achieved either with nitrosoureas, temozolomide in various dosing regimens, or bevacizumab. Combination regimens among these agents or with other drugs have not produced evidence for superior activity but commonly produce more toxicity. More research is needed to better define patient profiles that predict benefit from the limited therapeutic options available after the current standard of care has failed.
A recent joint meeting was held on January 30, 2014, with the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), National Cancer Institute (NCI), clinical scientists, imaging experts, pharmaceutical and biotech companies, clinical trials cooperative groups, and patient advocate groups to discuss imaging endpoints for clinical trials in glioblastoma. This workshop developed a set of priorities and action items including the creation of a standardized MRI protocol for multicenter studies. The current document outlines consensus recommendations for a standardized Brain Tumor Imaging Protocol (BTIP), along with the scientific and practical justifications for these recommendations, resulting from a series of discussions between various experts involved in aspects of neuro-oncology neuroimaging for clinical trials. The minimum recommended sequences include: (i) parameter-matched precontrast and postcontrast inversion recovery-prepared, isotropic 3D T1-weighted gradient-recalled echo; (ii) axial 2D T2-weighted turbo spin-echo acquired after contrast injection and before postcontrast 3D T1-weighted images to control timing of images after contrast administration; (iii) precontrast, axial 2D T2-weighted fluid-attenuated inversion recovery; and (iv) precontrast, axial 2D, 3-directional diffusion-weighted images. Recommended ranges of sequence parameters are provided for both 1.5 T and 3 T MR systems.
The CBTRUS Statistical Report: Alex's Lemonade Stand Foundation Infant and Childhood Primary Brain and Central Nervous System Tumors Diagnosed in the United States in 2007–2011 comprehensively describes the current population-based incidence of primary malignant and non-malignant brain and CNS tumors in children ages 0–14 years, collected and reported by central cancer registries covering approximately 99.8% of the United States population (for 2011 only, data were available for 50 out of 51 registries). Overall, brain and CNS tumors are the most common solid tumor, the most common cancer, and the most common cause of cancer death in infants and children 0–14 years. This report aims to serve as a useful resource for researchers, clinicians, patients, and families.
Surgery is first-line therapy for glioblastoma, and there is evidence that gross total resection is associated with improved survival. Gross total resection, however, is not always possible, and relationships among extent (percent) of resection (EOR), residual volume (RV), and survival are unknown. The goals were to evaluate whether there is an association between EOR and RV with survival and recurrence and to establish minimum EOR and maximum RV thresholds. Adult patients who underwent primary glioblastoma surgery from 2007 to 2011 were retrospectively reviewed. Three-dimensional volumetric tumor measurements were made. Multivariate proportional hazards regression analysis was used to evaluate the relationship between EOR and RV with survival and recurrence. Of 259 patients, 203 (78) died and 156 (60) had tumor recurrence. The median survival and progression-free survival were 13.4 and 8.9 months, respectively. The median (interquartile range) pre- and postoperative tumor volumes were 32.2 (14.056.3) and 2.1 (0.07.9) cm(3), respectively. EOR was independently associated with survival (hazard ratio [HR], 0.995;95 confidence interval [CI]: 0.9900.998; P .008) and recurrence (HR [95 CI], 0.992 [0.9830.998], P .005). The minimum EOR threshold for survival (P .0006) and recurrence (P .005) was 70. RV was also associated with survival (HR [95 CI], 1.019 [1.0061.030], P .004) and recurrence (HR [95 CI], 1.024 [1.0011.044], P .03). The maximum RV threshold for survival (P .01) and recurrence (P .01) was 5 cm(3). This study shows for the first time that both EOR and RV are significantly associated with survival and recurrence, where the thresholds are 70 and 5 cm(3), respectively. These findings may help guide surgical and adjuvant therapies aimed at optimizing outcomes for glioblastoma patients.