Interstitial Photodynamic Therapy of Glioblastomas: A Long-Term Follow-up Analysis of Survival and Volumetric MRI Data


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Background: The treatment of glioblastomas, the most common primary malignant brain tumors, with a devastating survival perspective, remains a major challenge in medicine. Among the recently explored therapeutic approaches, 5-aminolevulinic acid (5-ALA)-mediated interstitial photo dynamic therapy (iPDT) has shown promising results. Methods: A total of 16 patients suffering from de novo glioblastomas and undergoing iPDT as their primary treatment were retrospectively analyzed regarding survival and the characteristic tissue regions discernible in the MRI data before treatment and during follow-up. These regions were segmented at different stages and were analyzed, especially regarding their relation to survival. Results: In comparison to the reference cohorts treated with other therapies, the iPDT cohort showed a significantly prolonged progression-free survival (PFS) and overall survival (OS). A total of 10 of 16 patients experienced prolonged OS (=24 months). The dominant prognosis-affecting factor was the MGMT promoter methylation status (methylated: median PFS of 35.7 months and median OS of 43.9 months) (unmethylated: median PFS of 8.3 months and median OS of 15.0 months) (combined: median PFS of 16.4 months and median OS of 28.0 months). Several parameters with a known prognostic relevance to survival after standard treatment were not found to be relevant to this iPDT cohort, such as the necrosis-tumor ratio, tumor volume, and posttreatment contrast enhancement. After iPDT, a characteristic structure (iPDT remnant) appeared in the MRI data in the former tumor area. Conclusions: In this study, iPDT showed its potential as a treatment option for glioblastomas, with a large fraction of patients having prolonged OS. Parameters of prognostic relevance could be derived from the patient characteristics and MRI data, but they may partially need to be interpreted differently compared to the standard of care.
5-ALA,glioblastoma,imaging,long term,malignant glioma,MGMT,MRI,photodynamic therapy,recurrence,stereotactic surgery
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