CONTACT: JENNIFER BROWN
Iowa City IA 52242
(319) 335-9917; fax(319) 335-8034
Release: Nov. 7, 2000
UI invites people with a metastatic brain tumor to participate in a treatment
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- The University of Iowa is one of seven centers participating
in a clinical trial testing a new treatment for metastatic brain tumors and
invites affected people to participate in the study. Standard treatment involves
surgical removal of the tumor followed by radiation therapy. The trial will
test the effect of adding chemotherapy to the standard treatment by placing
a chemotherapeutic drug into the cavity left in the brain by removal of the
People ages 18 or older who have a single, operable brain tumor that has
metastasized (spread) from either breast or lung cancer and who have a life
expectancy of more than 12 weeks may be eligible for the trial. The systemic
cancer (breast or lung) must be pathologically confirmed, and the brain tumor
must be diagnosed with an MRI scan. Female participants must not be pregnant.
Participants must not have had prior brain irradiation or surgery for intraparenchymal
brain neoplasm, nor have any known central nervous system meningeal involvement
Eligible patients will be randomly assigned to one of two groups. One group
will receive surgery to remove the tumor followed by radiation therapy. The
other group will receive the surgery that includes the localized chemotherapy,
followed by the radiation therapy.
For the chemotherapy, several small discs of a polymer material infused
with the chemotherapeutic agent carmustine (BCNU) will be placed in the brain,
lining the cavity left by surgical removal of the tumor. These discs, known
as Gliadel wafers, will then slowly dissolve over time, releasing the
chemotherapy directly into the brain tissue. The trial will investigate whether
this localized chemotherapy can help prevent recurrence of a metastatic brain
tumor after it has been surgically removed. There is approximately a 30 to
50 percent recurrence rate after surgery and radiation.
After surgery and two to four weeks of recuperation all participants will
undergo radiation therapy for about four and a half weeks. Participants will
be evaluated in the Neuro Oncology Clinic three weeks later and will have
follow-up assessments every two months thereafter.
"We hope to find out whether this new approach can prolong the survival
rate and improve the quality of life for people with a metastatic brain tumor,"
said Timothy Ryken, M.D., UI assistant professor of neurosurgery.
People who would like more information about this trial or physicians who
wish to refer a patient should call Ryken at (319) 356-3853, or Gatana Stoner
at (319) 353-6679.
University of Iowa Health Care describes the partnership between
the UI College of Medicine and the UI Hospitals and Clinics and the patient
care, medical education and research programs and services they provide.