Objective Imaging necrosis on MRI scans was assessed and compared to outcome measures of the European Organisation for Research and Treatment of Cancer 26101 phase III trial that compared single-agent lomustine with lomustine plus bevacizumab in patients with progressive glioblastoma.

Methods MRI in this post hoc analysis was available for 359 patients (lomustine = 127, lomustine + bevacizumab = 232). First, imaging necrosis at baseline being formally measurable (>10 × 10 mm, given 2 slices) was assessed. At weeks 6 and 12 of treatment, it was analyzed whether this necrosis remained stable or increased >25% calculated by 2 perpendicular diameters or whether necrosis developed de novo. Univariate and multivariate associations of baseline necrosis with overall survival (OS) and progression-free survival (PFS) were tested by log-rank test. Hazard ratios (HR) with 95% confidence interval were calculated by Cox model.

Results Imaging necrosis at baseline was detected in 191 patients (53.2%) and was associated with worse OS and PFS in univariate, but not in multivariate analysis. Baseline necrosis was predictive for OS in the lomustine-only group (HR 1.46, p = 0.018). At weeks 6 and 12 of treatment, increase of baseline necrosis and de novo necrosis were strongly associated with worse OS and PFS in univariate and multivariate analysis (PFS both p < 0.001, OS univariate p < 0.001, multivariate p = 0.0046).

Conclusion Increase of and new development of imaging necrosis during treatment is a negative prognostic factor for patients with progressive glioblastoma. These data call for consideration of integrating the assessment of imaging necrosis as a separate item into the MRI response assessment criteria.

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Persistent URL dx.doi.org/10.1212/wnl.0000000000007643, hdl.handle.net/1765/119459
Journal Neurology
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Nowosielski, M., Gorlia, T.S, Bromberg, J.E.C, Sahm, F., Harting, I., Kickingereder, P., … Wick, W. (2019). Imaging necrosis during treatment is associated with worse survival in EORTC 26101 study. Neurology, 92(24), E2754–E2763. doi:10.1212/wnl.0000000000007643