News Story: Full Text
Sponsored By
Cedars-Siani Medical Center Brain Tumor Program
Please Click On The Above Banner For More Details
Braintumor Website

The impact of thrombocytopenia from temozolomide and radiation in newly diagnosed adults with high-grade gliomas

Al Musella's Comments: (This is his personal views and are not necessarily the views of the Musella Foundation!)


Posted on: 11/22/2006

First published on November 15, 2006
Neuro-oncol 2006, DOI:10.1215/15228517-2006-024
© Copyright 2006 by the Society for Neuro-Oncology

Received March 6, 2006
Accepted July 5, 2006

Clinical Investigations

The impact of thrombocytopenia from temozolomide and radiation in newly diagnosed adults with high-grade gliomas

David E. Gerber 1, Stuart A. Grossman 1*, Michel Zeltzman 1, Michele A. Parisi 1, Lawrence Kleinberg 1

1 Divisions of Medical Oncology and Radiation Oncology, Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins, Baltimore, MD 21231, USA


* To whom correspondence should be addressed. E-mail: .


Temozolomide (TMZ) administered daily with radiation therapy (RT) for six weeks, followed by adjuvant TMZ for six months, has become standard therapy for patients with glioblastoma multiforme (GBM). After several newly diagnosed patients at our institution developed severe (grade 3-4), prolonged thrombocytopenia, we conducted a retrospective review to define the incidence, depth, and duration of thrombocytopenia associated with this therapy. We reviewed the medical records and laboratory data of all adult patients with newly diagnosed high-grade gliomas who started treatment with this regimen between June 2004, when the regimen was first used at our institution, and August 2005. Of the 52 patients who met the criteria for this review, grade 3-4 thrombocytopenia occurred in 10 (19%; 95% CI, 10%-33%). In eight patients, the thrombocytopenia was attributable to concurrent daily TMZ and RT. The median duration of grade 3-4 thrombocytopenia was 32 days (range, 1-389 days). Five patients (10%) required platelet transfusions, two (4%) have required continued biweekly platelet transfusions for over six months, and nine (17%) have discontinued therapy because of thrombocytopenia. Grade 3-4 thrombocytopenia occurred in 25% of women and 14% of men. Grade 3-4 neutropenia and anemia were noted in 10% and 8% of patients, respectively, and were not clinically significant. Between 15% and 20% of our newly diagnosed patients receiving TMZ and RT developed severe (grade 3-4) and potentially irreversible thrombocytopenia. The factors that predispose patients to this toxicity have yet to be determined. This toxicity should be considered when (1) prescribing this regimen to patient populations where a clinical benefit has yet to be shown, (2) contemplating empirical escalations of the dose or duration of TMZ, or (3) combining it with other potentially myelosuppressive therapies.

Key Words: anaplastic astrocytoma, anaplastic oligodendroglioma, glioblastoma multiforme, myelosuppression, radiation therapy, temozolomide, thrombocytopenia

Click HERE to return to brain tumor news headlines

Home | Brain Tumor Guide | FAQs | Find A Treatment
Noteworthy Treatments | News | Virtual Trial | Videos | Novocure Optune® | Newsletter
Donations | Brain Tumor Centers | Survivor Stories | Temodar®
Fundraising For Research | Unsubscribe | Contact Us

Copyright (c) 1993 - 2020 by:
The Musella Foundation For Brain Tumor Research & Information, Inc
1100 Peninsula Blvd
Hewlett, NY 11557