Abstract: Malignant gliomas (glioblastoma multiforme and anaplastic astrocytoma) which have a combined incidence of 5–8/100,000 population, represent the most common primary central nervous system tumors. The treatment outcomes even with aggressive approach including surgery, radiaton therapy and chemotherapy are dismal with median reported survival is less than 1 year. Temozolomide is a new drug which has shown promise in treating malignant gliomas and other difficult-to-treat tumors. This drug is a per os (p.o) imidazotetrazine second-generation alkylating agent which represents the leading compound in a new class of chemotherapeutic agents that enter the cerebrospinal fluid and do not require hepatic metabolism for activation. The efficacy of temozolomide was tested in vitrostudies and has demonstrated schedule-dependent antitumor activity against highly resistant malignancies, including high-grade glioma (HGG). In addition, in clinical studies, temozolomide consistently demonstrates reproducible linear pharmacokinetics with approximately 100% p.o. bioavailability, noncumulative minimal myelosuppression that is rapidly reversible, and activity against a variety of solid tumors in both children and adults. Moreover, preclinical studies have evaluated the combination of temozolomide with other alkylating agents and inhibitors of the DNA repair protein O6-alkylguanine alkyltransferase to overcome resistance to chemotherapy in malignant glioma and malignant metastatic melanoma. At the present time temozolomide is approved in the United States for the treatment of adult patients with refractory anaplastic astrocytoma and, in the European Union, for treatment of glioblastoma multiforme showing progression or recurrence after standard therapy. Temozolomide’s characteristics which make it a candidate for a wide range of clinical testing to evaluate the potential of combination treatments in different tumor types are its predictable bioavailability and minimal toxicity. An overview of the mechanism of action of temozolomide and a summary of results from more important randomized controlled clinical trials in high grade gliomas are presented here.
Keywords: Temozolomide; Malignant gliomas; Chemotherapy; Radiation therapy
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Koukourakis, G.V.; Kouloulias, V.; Zacharias, G.; Papadimitriou, C.; Pantelakos, P.; Maravelis, G.; Fotineas, A.; Beli, I.; Chaldeopoulos, D.; Kouvaris, J. Temozolomide with Radiation Therapy in High Grade Brain Gliomas: Pharmaceuticals Considerations and Efficacy;A Review Article. Molecules 2009, 14, 1561-1577.
Koukourakis GV, Kouloulias V, Zacharias G, Papadimitriou C, Pantelakos P, Maravelis G, Fotineas A, Beli I, Chaldeopoulos D, Kouvaris J. Temozolomide with Radiation Therapy in High Grade Brain Gliomas: Pharmaceuticals Considerations and Efficacy;A Review Article. Molecules. 2009; 14(4):1561-1577.
Koukourakis, Georgios V.; Kouloulias, Vassilios; Zacharias, Georgios; Papadimitriou, Christos; Pantelakos, Panagiotis; Maravelis, George; Fotineas, Andreas; Beli, Ivelina; Chaldeopoulos, Demetrios; Kouvaris, John. 2009. "Temozolomide with Radiation Therapy in High Grade Brain Gliomas: Pharmaceuticals Considerations and Efficacy;A Review Article." Molecules 14, no. 4: 1561-1577.