Efficacy and safety of Levetiracetam vs. other antiepileptic drugs in Hispanic patients with glioblastoma


Epilepsy is a common symptom in patients with glioblastoma (GB). 213 patients with GB from RedLANO follow-up registry were included. All patients underwent surgery, if feasible, followed by chemoradiation based on temozolomide (Stupp platform). Information was recorded regarding demographics, seizure timing, anti-epileptic drugs (AEDs), dosage, time to next seizure, total seizures in 6 months, and main side effects of AEDs. The relationship between epilepsy treatment and overall survival (OS) was evaluated. Mean age was 53 years old and 56.8% were male. Seventy-eight patients (37%) were treated with levetiracetam (LEV), 27% were given another AED and 36% did not require any AED. Choice of AED was not associated with age (p = 0.67), performance status (p = 0.24) or anatomic tumor site (p = 0.34). Seizures and AED requirement were greater in those having primary GB (p = 0.04). After starting an AED, the mean time until next crisis was 9.9 days (SD ± 6.3), which was shorter in those receiving LEV (p = 0.03); mean number of seizures during the first 3 and 6 months were 2.9 and 4, respectively. Most patients treated with LEV (n = 46) required less than two medication adjustments compared to those treated with other AEDs (p = 0.02). Likewise, less patients exposed to LEV required a coadjuvant drug (p = 0.04). Additionally, patients receiving LEV had significantly less adverse effects compared to patients treated with another AED. OS was significantly higher in the group treated with LEV compared to other AEDs (25.5 vs. 17.9 months; p = 0.047). Patients treated with LEV had better seizure control and longer OS compared to other AEDs.

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The study received financial funding from an independent grant from the Foundation for Clinical and Applied Cancer Research (FICMAC -2013-009).

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Correspondence to Andrés F. Cardona.

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Andrés F. Cardona has received Consulting fees or honorarium and payment for lectures including service on speakers’ bureaus from Roche, Pfizer, Bristol Myers Squib, Merck, MSD and Astra Zeneca. The other authors declare thay have no conflict of interest.

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All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

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Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.

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Cardona, A.F., Rojas, L., Wills, B. et al. Efficacy and safety of Levetiracetam vs. other antiepileptic drugs in Hispanic patients with glioblastoma. J Neurooncol 136, 363–371 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11060-017-2660-0

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  • Efficacy
  • Safety
  • Antiepileptic drugs
  • Hispanic
  • Glioblastoma