Methylation of the gene's promoter may play a significant role in carcinogenesis. In patients with glioblastoma multiforme, the methylation state of the MGMT gene determined whether tumor cells would be responsive to temozolomide; if the promoter was methylated, temozolomide was more effective.
Treatment with temozolomide following surgical debulking extends survival rate compared to radiotherapy and debulking alone. However, virtually all glioblastoma patients experience disease progression within 7 to 10 months. Although many salvage treatments, including bevacizumab, rechallenge with temozolomide, and other alkylating agents, have been evaluated, none of these clearly improves survival 1).
Temozolomide, (TMZ) (brand names Temodar and Temodal and Temcad) is an oral chemotherapy drug. It is an alkylating agent used as a treatment of some brain cancers; as a second-line treatment for astrocytoma and a first-line treatment for glioblastoma multiforme.
Temozolomide rechallenge is a treatment option for MGMT promoter-methylated recurrent glioblastoma. Alternative strategies need to be considered for patients with progressive glioblastoma without MGMT promoter methylation 2).
Temozolomide (TMZ) for malignant gliomas is traditionally dosed in 5 out of a 28-day cycle, however alternative regimens exist, including dose-dense. Continuous daily dosing is available, but the acceptable dose and duration of therapy is unknown.
Zhou et al. document a 40-year-old male with recurrent anaplastic astrocytoma, IDH mutant and MGMT promotor methylation negative, who has well-tolerated continuous daily TMZ for 20 months at 100 mg per day for nearly the length of this period. A trial at 80 mg per day demonstrated disease progression with response upon return to 100 mg per day. Prior to the daily TMZ, the patient underwent three surgical resections, radiation therapy with concurrent TMZ according to the EORTC NCIC protocol, and subsequently bevacizumab in combination with use of the Optune device. Long-term survival of patients with recurrent malignant gliomas is uncommon, and currently no standard treatment strategies exist for these patients. We present this case to demonstrate the tolerability and dose dependency of prolonged daily TMZ dosing as a therapeutic option for recurrent anaplastic astrocytomas 3).