The effect of anticonvulsants on survival among patients with GBM brain tumors undergoing radiation: A SEER-Medicare analysis


      • Na/Ca channel blockers are associated with improved GBM overall survival.
      • Na/Ca channel blockers are associated with improved GBM cancer specific survival.



      Patients with glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) who undergo radiation often require anticonvulsants during treatment. The aim of this study was to determine the effects of anticonvulsants on GBM clinical outcomes.


      A retrospective analysis was performed using the SEER-Medicare database. All patients with GBM who were treated with radiation and concurrently taking an anticonvulsant were included in final analysis. Each class of medication was further subdivided by mechanism of action. Descriptive statistics were performed for all variables. Kaplan Meier survival curves were generated for each class of medication and Cox regression analysis was performed to assess the effect of each individual variable on survival.


      There were 1561 patients available for final analysis. On multivariate Cox regression analysis, GBM patients taking sodium/calcium (Na/Ca) channel blocker anticonvulsants during radiation therapy demonstrated both improved overall survival (OS) (HR, 0.799; 95% CI [0.716, 0.891]; P < 0.001) and cancer specific survival (CSS) (HR, 0.814; 95% CI [0.727, 0.911]; P < 0.001).


      OS was significantly better in patients taking NA/Ca channel blockers among patients with GBM who were concurrently undergoing radiation therapy.


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