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1.  A single-arm phase II Austrian/German multicenter trial on continuous daily sunitinib in primary glioblastoma at first recurrence (SURGE 01-07) 
Neuro-Oncology  2013;16(1):92-102.
Due to the redundancy of molecular pathways simultaneously involved in glioblastoma growth and angiogenesis, therapeutic approaches intervening at multiple levels seem particularly appealing.
This prospective, multicenter, single-arm phase II trial was designed to evaluate the antitumor activity of sunitinib, an oral small-molecule inhibitor of several receptor tyrosine kinases, in patients with first recurrence of primary glioblastoma using a continuous once-daily dosing regimen. Patients received a starting dose of sunitinib 37.5 mg, followed by a maintenance dose between 12.5 mg and 50 mg depending on drug tolerability. The primary endpoint was a 6-month progression-free survival (PFS) rate. Secondary endpoints included median PFS, overall survival (OS), safety/toxicity, quality of life, and translational studies on the expression of sunitinib target molecules.
Forty participants were included in this study, and no objective responses were detected. PFS6 was 12.5%, median PFS 2.2 months, and median OS 9.2 months. Five participants (12.5%) showed prolonged stable disease ≥6 months with a median PFS of 16.0 months (range, 6.4–41.4 mo) and a median OS of 46.9 months (range, 21.2–49.2 mo) for this subgroup. c-KIT expression in vascular endothelial cells (n = 14 participants) was associated with improved PFS. The most common toxicities were fatigue/asthenia, mucositis/dermatitis, dysesthesias, gastrointestinal symptoms, cognitive impairment, leukoctopenia, and thrombocytopenia. Two participants (5%) terminated treatment due to toxicity.
Continuous daily sunitinib showed minimal antiglioblastoma activity and substantial toxicity when given at higher doses. High endothelial c-KIT expression may define a subgroup of patients who will benefit from sunitinib treatment by achieving prolonged PFS. Identifier: NCT00535379.
PMCID: PMC3870838  PMID: 24311637
antitumor activity and safety; glioblastoma; molecular markers; quality of life; sunitinib
2.  O6-Methylguanine DNA methyltransferase protein expression in tumor cells predicts outcome of temozolomide therapy in glioblastoma patients 
Neuro-Oncology  2009;12(1):28-36.
O6-Methylguanine DNA methyltransferase (MGMT) is implicated as a major predictive factor for treatment response to alkylating agents including temozolomide (TMZ) of glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) patients. However, whether the MGMT status in GBM patients should be detected at the level of promoter methylation or protein expression is still a matter of debate. Here, we compared promoter methylation (by methylation-specific polymerase chain reaction) and protein expression (by Western blot) in tumor cell explants with respect to prediction of TMZ response and survival of GBM patients (n = 71). Methylated MGMT gene promoter sequences were detected in 47 of 71 (66%) cases, whereas 37 of 71 (52%) samples were scored positive for MGMT protein expression. Although overall promoter methylation correlated significantly with protein expression (χ2 test, P < .001), a small subgroup of samples did not follow this association. In the multivariate Cox regression model, a significant interaction between MGMT protein expression, but not promoter methylation, and TMZ therapy was observed (test for interaction, P = .015). In patients treated with TMZ (n = 42), MGMT protein expression predicted a significantly shorter overall survival (OS; hazard ratio [HR] for death 5.53, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.76–17.37; P = .003), whereas in patients without TMZ therapy (n = 29), no differences in OS were observed (HR for death 1.00, 95% CI 0.45–2.20; P = .99). These data suggest that lack of MGMT protein expression is superior to promoter methylation as a predictive marker for TMZ response in GBM patients.
PMCID: PMC2940563  PMID: 20150365
O6-Methylguanine DNA methyltransferase; glioblastoma multiforme; protein expression; temozolomide

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