Survival of patients treated with radiation therapy for anaplastic astrocytoma

  • Christopher Barker Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center
  • Maria Chang Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center
  • Kathryn Beal Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center
  • Timothy A. Chan Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center


Background. Anaplastic astrocytoma (AA) represents 7% of primary brain tumors in adults. Patient-, tumor-, and treatment-related factors are thought to be predictive of survival.  We retrospectively assessed the association of patient-, tumor-, and treatment-related factors with survival in AA treated with radiotherapy (RT) at our institution.

Methods. Medical records of patients with AA treated with RT between 1987 and 2007 were reviewed. Patient-, tumor-, and treatment-related variables were recorded and used to assign patients to a Radiation Therapy Oncology Group recursive partitioning analysis (RTOG RPA) classification. First use of chemotherapy was recorded. Log-rank tests and Cox regression models were used to assess for an association of patient-, tumor- and treatment-related factors with survival.

Results. One-hundred twenty-six patients were eligible for study. Median age, Karnofsky performance status, and duration of symptoms were 43 years, 90, and 8 weeks. Median radiation dose was 59.4 Gy; 61% of patients underwent tumor resection, and 17% and 41% of patients received temozolomide during and after RT.  Median survival was 31 months, and 2-year survival was 58%. RTOG RPA class was associated with survival (p < 0.001), but use of temozolomide during or after RT was not (p > 0.05).

Conclusions. In this retrospective study with inherent limitations, RTOG RPA classification was associated with survival. Further studies are necessary to confirm or refute this finding.

How to Cite
Barker, C., Chang, M., Beal, K., & Chan, T. A. (2014). Survival of patients treated with radiation therapy for anaplastic astrocytoma. Radiology and Oncology, 48(4). Retrieved from
Clinical oncology