Levetiracetam as a sensitizer of concurrent chemoradiotherapy in newly diagnosed glioblastoma: An open-label phase 2 study

Kihwan Hwang, Junhyung Kim, Seok-Gu Kang, Tae-Young Jung, Jeong Hoon Kim, Se-Hyuk Kim, Shin-Hyuk Kang, Yong-Kil Hong, Tae Min Kim, Yu Jung Kim, Byung Se Choi, Jong Hee Chang, Chae-Yong Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


BACKGROUND: An open-label single-arm phase 2 study was conducted to evaluate the role of levetiracetam as a sensitizer of concurrent chemoradiotherapy (CCRT) for patients with newly diagnosed glioblastoma. This study aimed to determine the survival benefit of levetiracetam in conjunction with the standard treatment for glioblastoma.

METHODS: Major eligibility requirements included histologically proven glioblastoma in the supratentorial region, patients 18 years or older, and Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group (ECOG) performance status of 0-2. Levetiracetam was given at 1,000-2,000 mg daily in two divided doses during CCRT and adjuvant chemotherapy thereafter. The primary and the secondary endpoints were 6-month progression-free survival (6mo-PFS) and 24-month overall survival (24mo-OS), respectively. Outcomes of the study group were compared to those of an external control group.

RESULTS: Between July 2016 and January 2019, 76 patients were enrolled, and 73 patients were included in the final analysis. The primary and secondary outcomes were improved in the study population compared to the external control (6mo-PFS, 84.9% vs. 72.3%, p = 0.038; 24mo-OS, 58.0% vs. 39.9%, p = 0.018), but the differences were less prominent in a propensity score-matched analysis (6mo-PFS, 88.0% vs. 76.9%, p = 0.071; 24mo-OS, 57.1% vs. 38.8%, p = 0.054). In exploratory subgroup analyses, some results suggested that patients with ages under 65 years or unmethylated MGMT promoter might have a greater survival benefit from the use of levetiracetam.

CONCLUSIONS: The use of levetiracetam during CCRT in patients with newly diagnosed glioblastoma may result in improved outcomes, but further investigations are warranted.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)371-379
Number of pages9
JournalCancer Medicine
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 2022


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