Treatment of glioblastoma in elderly patients: an overview of current treatments and future perspective


Current treatment of glioblastoma in the elderly includes surgery, radiotherapy and chemotherapy, but the prognosis remains extremely poor, and its optimal management is still debated. Longer survival after extensive resection compared with biopsy only has been reported, although the survival advantage remains modest. Radiation in the form of standard (60 Gy in 30 fractions over 6 weeks) and abbreviated courses of radiotherapy (30-50 Gy in 6-20 fractions over 2-4 weeks) has been employed in elderly patients with glioblastoma, showing survival benefits compared with supportive care alone. Temozolomide is an alkylating agent recently employed in older patients with newly diagnosed glioblastoma. The addition of concomitant and/or adjuvant chemotherapy with temozolomide to radiotherapy, which is currently the standard treatment in adults with glioblastoma, is emerging as an effective therapeutic option for older patients with favorable prognostic factors. The potential benefits on survival, improvement in quality of life and toxicity of different schedules of radiotherapy plus temozolomide need to be addressed in future randomized studies. Free full text available at

Tumori 2010; 96(5): 650 - 658

Article Type: REVIEW


Gaetano Lanzetta, Giuseppe Minniti

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