The Stupp protocol of post-resection external beam radiation therapy and concomitant temozolomide is the standard of care for patients with newly-diagnosed glioblastoma, with expanded use in anaplastic astrocytoma. However, the optimal interval between surgery and these adjuvant therapies, and its impact on survival, is unknown. To investigate this, de-identified claims from a large, private health insurance database were queried to identify adult patients who underwent index craniotomy for resection of a supratentorial neoplasm during the period 2005–2014 and began postoperative radiation and temozolomide within 13 weeks of surgery. A total of 2535 patients were assigned to groups based on interval from surgery to first radiation treatment of up to 4 weeks, 4–6 weeks, or 6–13 weeks. Of these, 1098 patients began radiation treatment within 4 weeks of craniotomy, 1019 between 4 and 6 weeks, and 418 between 6 and 13 weeks. There was significant regional variation in treatment schedule in the United States. Survival was calculated based on time from first craniotomy to death. Kaplan–Meier plot and multivariate Cox proportional hazard regression demonstrated a statistically significant association between earliest postoperative radiation and decreased survival (hazard ratio 1.31), along with older age and male sex. Earlier initiation of postoperative radiation for high-grade glioma is not associated with increased survival. Rather, beginning radiation treatment within 4 weeks of craniotomy was associated with significantly worse survival compared to initiation of treatment 4–13 weeks after craniotomy. This is the largest population-based study to date regarding timing of Stupp protocol initiation.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Clinical Neurology
- Cancer Research