Advisory: Give yourself extra time when travelling by car to Toronto General Hospital, Princess Margaret Cancer Centre, or Toronto Rehab University Centre. City of Toronto construction on University Ave. may cause delays.
At UHN, we strive to deliver Compassionate Care & Caring. Learn more about the services and supports that are available to you throughout your journey.
Our UHN programs and services are among the most advanced in the world. We have grouped our physicians,
staff, services and resources into 10 medical programs to meet the needs of our patients and help us make
the most of our resources.
At the heart of everything we do at UHN are our Healthcare Professionals. Refer a patient to one of our 12 medical programs. Learn more about the resources and opportunities available for professional growth.
University Health Network has grown to be one of the largest research and teaching hospital networks in Canada - pioneers in improving the lives of patients. Our long history of health professions education at Toronto General, Toronto Western, Princess Margaret and Toronto Rehab hospitals has consistently advanced the science of education.
University Health Network is a health care and medical research organization in
Toronto, Ontario, Canada. The scope of research and complexity of cases at UHN has made us a national and international
source for discovery, education and patient care.
Being touched by illness affects us in different ways. Many people want to give back to the community
and help others. At UHN, we welcome your contribution and offer different ways you can help so you can find one that suits you.
The Newsroom is the source for media looking for information about UHN or trying to connect with one
of our experts for an interview. It's also the place to find UHN media policies and catch up on our news stories, videos, media releases,
podcasts and more.
Toronto (March 16, 2017) – Treating older patients who have malignant brain cancer with the chemotherapy drug temozolomide plus a short course of radiation therapy extends survival by two months compared to treating with radiation alone, show clinical trial results published today in the New England Journal of Medicine.
For 45 per cent of the study participants, improved survival almost doubled – from seven months to 13.5 months, says co-principal investigator Normand Laperriere, radiation oncologist at Princess Margaret Cancer Centre, University Health Network. This was linked to a molecular marker that indicated if a DNA repair mechanism against the drug was active. When the mechanism was "off," tumours responded better to treatment.
"Everyone benefited to a varying degree and the study confirmed the predictive nature of the molecular marker in the largest sample to date where the status was known. We anticipate this combined therapy will be the treatment strategy broadly adopted around the world for patients 65 and older because it makes a significant difference in the course of this terrible disease," says Dr. Laperriere, who is also a Professor in the Department of Radiation Oncology, University of Toronto. He talks about the research at https://youtu.be/4dvofcFEWWY.
The trial was conducted with co-investigators Dr. James Perry, Sunnybrook Health Science and Odette Cancer Centres, Toronto, Dr. Christopher O'Callaghan, Canadian Cancer Trials Group, Kingston, Ont., and international collaborators from Europe, Australia, New Zealand, Japan.
From 2007 to 2013, the randomized Phase III clinical trial enrolled 562 patients with glioblastoma, the most common malignant brain cancer in adults. Average age of onset is 65 and there is no cure. The incidence of glioblastoma is increasing in aging societies with half of all patients now 65 or older. In the study, patients ranged in age from 65 to 90; two-thirds were 70 or older.
This was the first study to investigate combining the drug with radiotherapy in older patients. Two previous studies had looked at either the role of the drug alone or the role of radiotherapy alone in treating glioblastoma.
"There has been no clear standard of care for treatment of glioblastoma in the elderly," says Dr. Laperriere. "For patients under 65, the protocol is six weeks of radiation therapy plus the drug, but this regimen is poorly tolerated by older patients."
Temozolomide is an oral chemotherapy (taken as a pill) which is extremely well tolerated, and participants in both arms of the study reported no differences in quality of life. ;"The drug is so well tolerated, there is no downside in administering it to all glioblastoma patients,'' says Dr. Laperriere. "Thankfully in such a terrible disease, at least we have therapies that are easy on the patient and easy to take."
The study was funded by the Canadian Cancer Society Research Institute (Canadian Cancer Trials Group), Merck and The Princess Margaret Cancer Foundation.
The CCTG is the only Canadian cooperative cancer trials group conducting the entire range of cancer trials from early phase studies to large international randomized controlled trials across all cancer types. Its primary mission is to assess the effectiveness of interventions to prevent the development of cancer or improve the care of those patients who do develop cancer. It is a national research program of the Canadian Cancer Society. Its Central Operations and Statistics Centre is located at Queen's University in Kingston, Ontario, Canada. For more information on CCTG, please visit www.ctg.queensu.ca.
Phone: 416 340 4636