A phase II study of carboplatin and chronic high-dose tamoxifen in patients with recurrent malignant glioma

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To determine the response rate, time to disease progression, survival, and toxicity of intravenous carboplatin and chronic oral high-dose tamoxifen in patients with recurrent malignant gliomas.

Patients and methods

Patients with histological confirmation of recurrent malignant gliomas were eligible for this multicenter phase II trial. Treatment consisted of 400 mg/m2 carboplatin intravenously every 4 weeks and oral high dose chronic tamoxifen (80 mg bid in women and 100 mg bid in men).


Twenty seven patients met the eligibility criteria and were evaluable for response. The histological subtypes were: 16 (59%) glioblastoma multiforme (GBM), malignant astrocytoma (5 patients), malignant mixed glioma (5 patients), and glioblastoma/gliosarcoma (1 patient). Twenty-two patients (82%) had an ECOG performance status of 0 or 1. No complete responses were observed, 4 patients (15%) achieved a partial response, and 14 patients (52%) had stable disease. Median time to progression was 3.65 months (95%CI 2.56, 4.83). Median overall survival was 14.09 months (95%CI 7.06, 19.91). One patient with a recurrent GBM had a sustained partial response and is progression free 81 months since starting treatment. Another patient with mixed malignant oligoastrocytoma also had a prolonged partial response (lasting 63 months) and is alive 84 months after treatment for recurrence. The most frequently reported grade 3 or 4 toxicities were fatigue (19%), nausea (11%) and anorexia (11%).


Carboplatin and high dose tamoxifen has similar response rates to other regimens for recurrent malignant gliomas and are probably equivalent to those found using tamoxifen as monotherapy. Long-lasting periods of disease free survival in some patients (particularly those with malignant mixed oligo astrocytomas) were found.

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Tang, P., Roldan, G., Brasher, P. et al. A phase II study of carboplatin and chronic high-dose tamoxifen in patients with recurrent malignant glioma. J Neurooncol 78, 311–316 (2006).

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  • carboplatin
  • malignant glioma
  • phase II clinical trial
  • tamoxifen