- Oncology. 1996 Jan-Feb;53(1):43-6.
Increased survival time in brain glioblastomas by a radioneuroendocrine strategy
with radiotherapy plus melatonin compared to radiotherapy alone.
Lissoni P, Meregalli S, Nosetto L, Barni S, Tancini G, Fossati V, Maestroni G.
Division of Oncological Radiotherapy, San Gerardo Hospital, Monza, Italy.
prognosis of brain glioblastoma is still very poor and the median
survival time is generally less than 6 months. At present, no
chemotherapy has appeared to influence its prognosis. On the other
hand, recent advances in brain tumor biology have suggested that brain
tumor growth is at least in part under a neuroendocrine control, mainly
realized by opioid peptides and pineal substances. On this basis, we
evaluated the influence of a concomitant administration of the pineal
hormone melatonin (MLT) in patients with glioblastoma treated with
radical or adjuvant radiotherapy (RT). The study included 30 patients
with glioblastoma, who were randomized to receive RT alone (60 Gy) or
RT plus MLT (20 mg/daily orally) until disease progression. Both the
survival curve and the percent of survival at 1 year were significantly
higher in patients treated with RT plus MLT than in those receiving RT
alone (6/14 vs. 1/16). Moreover, RT or steroid therapy-related
toxicities were lower in patients concomitantly treated with MLT. This
preliminary study suggests that a radioneuroendocrine approach with RT
plus the pineal hormone MLT may prolong the survival time and improve
the quality of life of patients affected by glioblastoma.