Drug helps brain tumor patients live longer

Jan 28, 2008

People who receive high doses of the chemotherapy drug methotrexate to treat a certain type of brain tumor appear to live longer than people receiving other treatments, according to research published in the January 29, 2008, issue of Neurology.

“Our findings show high-dose methotrexate alone or in combination with other chemotherapy drugs is the most effective treatment available for primary central nervous system lymphoma (PCNSL)” said study author Tracy Batchelor, MD, with the Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center in Boston. PCNSL can be a potentially curable brain tumor or one in which there can be a long remission.

The research involved 25 adults with newly diagnosed PCNSL who received a high dose of methotrexate every two weeks for four months or until there were no signs of the brain tumor. The participants were then followed for a minimum of 6.5 years.

The article found 52 percent of the participants achieved complete remission and 40 percent of these patients have not relapsed after an average of seven years. The average survival rate of all participants who received methotrexate was 4.5 years. In contrast, the average survival rate for patients who receive radiation therapy for this type of brain tumor is one year.

“Our findings support the role of methotrexate as a critical chemotherapy drug in the treatment of this type of brain tumor,” said Batchelor. “Moreover, it appears some people may achieve a long remission through the methotrexate alone.”

Batchelor says further studies are needed to identify the optimal methotrexate dose and combination therapy that will produce the most effective results with minimum side effects.

Source: American Academy of Neurology

Explore further: FDA approves hard-to-abuse narcotic painkiller

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Pfizer says patient died in oral RA drug study

Apr 22, 2011

(AP) -- Pfizer Inc. confirmed that one patient who was taking its drug candidate tofacitinib, a pill designed to treat rheumatoid arthritis, died during a recent clinical trial and said the death was connected to the drug.

CO woman waits to see if pill mix up harmed embryo

Feb 10, 2011

(AP) -- Doctors say the early stages of pregnancy are an especially bad time for a pharmacological mix-up where a woman prescribed antibiotics instead is given a powerful drug used in chemotherapy.

Toward the first nose drops to treat brain cancer

Sep 22, 2010

Scientists are reporting the development and successful initial testing of a new form of methotrexate -- the mainstay anticancer drug -- designed to be given as nose drops rather than injected. It shows promise as a more ...

Nanoparticles carry cancer-killing drugs into tumor cells

Jun 15, 2005

Increased efficacy, lower drug toxicity in mice University of Michigan scientists have created the nanotechnology equivalent of a Trojan horse to smuggle a powerful chemotherapeutic drug inside tumor cells – increasing ...

Recommended for you

FDA approves hard-to-abuse narcotic painkiller

15 hours ago

(HealthDay)—A new formulation of a powerful narcotic painkiller that discourages potential abusers from snorting or injecting the drug has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

Race affects opioid selection for cancer pain

16 hours ago

(HealthDay)—Racial disparities exist in the type of opioid prescribed for cancer pain, according to a study published online July 21 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

FDA approves tough-to-abuse formulation of oxycodone

16 hours ago

(HealthDay)—Targiniq ER (oxycodone hydrochloride and naloxone hydrochloride extended release) has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration as a long-term, around-the-clock treatment for severe ...

Tough-to-abuse formulation of oxycodone approved

16 hours ago

(HealthDay)—Targiniq ER (oxycodone hydrochloride and naloxone hydrochloride extended release) has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration as a long-term, around-the-clock treatment for severe pain when other ...

EU regulator: Morning-after pill OK for all women

Jul 24, 2014

(AP)—A commonly used morning-after pill is suitable for use by heavier women, the European Medicines Agency said Thursday after a review of the evidence sparked by the French manufacturer's declaration that the drugs didn't ...

Physicians warned about counterfeit medical devices

Jul 24, 2014

(HealthDay)—Physicians should be aware of the prevalence and serious consequences associated with use of counterfeit medical devices, according to a letter to the editor published online July 20 in Lasers in ...

User comments : 0