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The challenges of managing glioblastoma multiforme in developing countries: a trade-off between cost and qu ality of care.

Posted on: 10/22/2011

Hematol Oncol Stem Cell Ther. 2011 Third Quarter;4(3):116-120.

The challenges of managing glioblastoma multiforme in developing countries: a trade-off between cost and qu ality of care.

Salem A, Hashem SA, Al-Rashdan A, Ezam N, Nour A, Alsharbaji A, Sughayer M, Mohamad I, Elyan M, Addas A, Al-Hussaini M, Almousa A.


Department of Radiation Oncology, King Hussein Cancer Center, HM Queen Rania Hospital, Amman, Jordan




The management of glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) in developing countries is hindered by the paucity of clear protocols due in part to growing economic constraints and the lack of availability of expensive chemotherapeutic agents. We evaluated the deliverable treatment protocols and achievable outcomes for patients with GBM in a low-income country prior and subsequent to the worldwide adoption of temozolomide.



Retrospective case series.



Charts of consecutive patients with a pathologic diagnosis of high-grade glioma diagnosed between January 2003 and December 2008 were retrospectively reviewed.



We identified 146 adult patients, including 105 males and 41 females between 19 and 81 years of age (median age, 51 years), with histologically confirmed high-grade glioma. All patients underwent craniotomy. Eighty-two patients were treated with radiotherapy and temozolomide, of whom 42 patients received temozolomide concurrent with radiation followed by adjuvant temozolomide; 40 patients received irradiation followed sequentially by 6 cycles of temozolomide. In 40 patients irradiation was utilized as a single modality treatment adjuvant to surgery. The follow-up ranged from 1 to 56 months (median, 9.4 months). The median survival for the whole cohort was 10.2 months. The median survival for the radiotherapy-alone group was 5.3 months and for combined radiotherapy/temozolomide was 14.8 months. Survival was similar in both concurrent and sequential groups. Temozolomide conferred a statistically significant survival benefit of 9 months compared with standard therapeutic modalities.



The results compare favorably to those reported in developed nations. Current management of GBM in developing countries should include maximal surgical resection followed by radiotherapy/temozolomide whenever medically and/or financially feasible. Outcomes comparable to those obtained within the context of randomized trials can be expected in low-income settings if healthcare delivery is carefully planned. Our results indicate that concurrent and sequential regimens are equally effective in these patients.



21982884 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher] 



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