Levetiracetam monotherapy in patients with brain tumor-related epilepsy: seizure control, safety, and quality of life
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We performed a case series analysis to evaluate the effects of levetiracetam (LEV) monotherapy on seizures, adverse events, cognitive functioning and quality of life (QoL) in patients with brain tumor-related epilepsy (BTRE). We also explored the possible effects of systemic therapies on the efficacy of LEV. Twenty-nine patients were followed (13 female, 16 male; age 24-75 years) with 12 months of follow-up. Patients were evaluated by QoL and neuropsychological tests. At final follow-up, mean LEV dosage was 1991.4 mg/day. Among patients who reached the final follow-up of 12 months (n = 15), 1 patient had ≥50% reduction of seizure frequency (SF), and 14/15 were seizure free. The difference in presence/absence of seizures between baseline and final follow-up was significant (p < 0.001). Responder rate was 100%. We observed five side-effects: four mild (reversible) and one severe. Logistic regression revealed that chemotherapy and radiotherapy did not affect the efficacy of LEV in seizure outcome (p = 0.999). The following statistically significant observations emerged by tests' evaluation: less worry about seizures, effects of antiepileptic, and ability to maintain social functions. Our data suggest that seizure occurrence can be an important warning sign that the clinician should heed throughout the duration of the illness. Patients with BTRE represent a unique patient population that presents difficulties regarding management of two very different pathologies: epilepsy on the one hand, and brain tumor on the other. Our data indicate that LEV, in patients with BTRE, is safe and efficacious, with positive impact on QoL.
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