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RTOG Study Likely Treatment Option for Brain Tumor Patients like Sen. Kennedy
Date:5/22/2008

PHILADELPHIA, May 22 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- A Radiation Therapy Oncology Group (RTOG) study which seeks to establish whether high-doses of the chemotherapy drug temozolomide after radiotherapy can improve outcome for patients with newly diagnosed malignant glioma is a possible consideration for Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-Mass.) and other patients with this type of brain tumor.

The ongoing study, conducted domestically by the RTOG, a clinical research component of the American College of Radiology (ACR), is enrolling approximately 1153 malignant glioma patients at 217 sites throughout the United States, Canada, Europe, and Israel including Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston.

"Researchers, both in the U. S. and abroad, have been very enthusiastic about this study," said Walter J. Curran Jr., M.D., the RTOG Group Chair, and the Lawrence W. Davis Professor and Chair of the Department of Radiation Oncology in the Emory School of Medicine and Chief Medical Officer of the Emory Winship Cancer Institute. "The rate of patient enrollment has exceeded our expectations, due in part, to the strong desire of the entire oncology community to find improved treatment options for patients with this serious disease. The trial is expected to close to patient accrual in mid-June, and researchers will begin analyzing the study data."

The goal of the study is find out if giving temozolomide for a longer time each month (compared to current practice) will improve the outcome for malignant glioma patients and what effects, if any, the longer drug schedule might have patients.

Since correlative laboratory studies have shown a link between tumor MGMT gene expression and treatment response, another goal of this trial is to examine the relationship between methylated MGMT status and temozolomide dose on survival. To find out which patients have the MGMT gene, a sample of tumor tissue from each patient is examined by a central laboratory prior to the rand
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SOURCE Radiation Therapy Oncology Group
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