Journal of Neuro-Oncology

, Volume 104, Issue 1, pp 205–214

Levetiracetam monotherapy in patients with brain tumor-related epilepsy: seizure control, safety, and quality of life

Authors

    • Center for Tumor-Related Epilepsy, Neurology Unit, Department of Neuroscience and Cervical-Facial PathologyNational Institute for Cancer ‘Regina Elena’
  • Loredana Dinapoli
    • Center for Tumor-Related Epilepsy, Neurology Unit, Department of Neuroscience and Cervical-Facial PathologyNational Institute for Cancer ‘Regina Elena’
  • Francesca Sperati
    • S.C. EpidemiologyNational Institute for Cancer ‘Regina Elena’
  • Andrea Pace
    • Neurology Unit, Department of Neuroscience and Cervical-Facial PathologyNational Institute for Cancer ‘Regina Elena’
  • Alessandra Fabi
    • Department of OncologyNational Institute for Cancer ‘Regina Elena’
  • Antonello Vidiri
    • Department of RadiologyNational Institute for Cancer ‘Regina Elena’
  • Paola Muti
    • Scientific DirectionNational Institute for Cancer ‘Regina Elena’
Clinical Study – Patient Study

DOI: 10.1007/s11060-010-0460-x

Cite this article as:
Maschio, M., Dinapoli, L., Sperati, F. et al. J Neurooncol (2011) 104: 205. doi:10.1007/s11060-010-0460-x

Abstract

We performed a case series analysis to evaluate the effects of levetiracetam (LEV) monotherapy on seizures, adverse events, cognitive functioning and quality of life (QoL) in patients with brain tumor-related epilepsy (BTRE). We also explored the possible effects of systemic therapies on the efficacy of LEV. Twenty-nine patients were followed (13 female, 16 male; age 24–75 years) with 12 months of follow-up. Patients were evaluated by QoL and neuropsychological tests. At final follow-up, mean LEV dosage was 1991.4 mg/day. Among patients who reached the final follow-up of 12 months (n = 15), 1 patient had ≥50% reduction of seizure frequency (SF), and 14/15 were seizure free. The difference in presence/absence of seizures between baseline and final follow-up was significant (p < 0.001). Responder rate was 100%. We observed five side-effects: four mild (reversible) and one severe. Logistic regression revealed that chemotherapy and radiotherapy did not affect the efficacy of LEV in seizure outcome (p = 0.999). The following statistically significant observations emerged by tests’ evaluation: less worry about seizures, effects of antiepileptic, and ability to maintain social functions. Our data suggest that seizure occurrence can be an important warning sign that the clinician should heed throughout the duration of the illness. Patients with BTRE represent a unique patient population that presents difficulties regarding management of two very different pathologies: epilepsy on the one hand, and brain tumor on the other. Our data indicate that LEV, in patients with BTRE, is safe and efficacious, with positive impact on QoL.

Keywords

Brain tumor-related epilepsyChemotherapyEfficacyLevetiracetamRadiotherapyQoL

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC. 2010