for people ages 4-17 (full criteria)
at San Francisco, California and other locations
study started
estimated completion



This phase III trial compares memantine to usual treatment in treating patients with brain tumors that are newly diagnosed or have come back (recurrent). Memantine may block receptors (parts of nerve cells) in the brain known to contribute to a decline in cognitive function. Giving memantine may make a difference in cognitive function (attention, memory, or other thought processes) in children and adolescents receiving brain radiation therapy to treat a primary brain tumor.

Official Title

A Phase 3 Randomized, Placebo-Controlled Trial Evaluating Memantine for Neurocognitive Protection in Children Undergoing Cranial Radiotherapy as Part of Treatment for Primary Central Nervous System Tumors



  1. To determine the efficacy, as measured by the slope of change of the Cogstate composite Z score from baseline to 12 months, of oral memantine hydrochloride (memantine) administered for a period of 6 months, when compared to placebo, in children ages 4-18 receiving cranial or craniospinal radiotherapy for primary central nervous system tumors.


  1. To determine if memantine is associated with improved cognitive function as measured for participants in the optional Children's Oncology Group (COG) Standardized Battery at 12 months.

II. To determine if memantine is associated with change in cognitive function version (vs.) placebo as measured by Cogstate composite score at end of radiation therapy (RT), 3 and 6 months.

III. To determine if memantine is associated with differences in cognitive function vs. placebo as measured by Cogstate composite score at 30 and 60 months for participants in the optional COG Standardized Battery.

IV. To correlate early cognitive changes (end of RT, 3, 6, 12 months Cogstate composite score) with late cognitive function (30 and 60 months Cogstate composite score).

  1. To correlate COG Standardized Battery scores to Cogstate composite scores at 12, 30, and 60 months.

VI. To estimate the 36-month disease-free and overall survival (of primary brain tumor) after memantine treatment compared to placebo.

VII. To correlate changes in quantitative volumetric magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) measurements of critical brain regions with cognitive function over time.

VIII. To evaluate impact of memantine versus placebo on molecular biomarkers associated with cognitive decline after radiotherapy.

IX. To determine whether oral memantine, when compared to placebo, is associated with reduction in the incidence of decline of composite Cogstate score at 12 months in children ages 4-18 receiving cranial radiotherapy for primary central nervous system tumors.

OUTLINE: Patients are randomized to 1 of 2 arms.

ARM I: Patients receive memantine hydrochloride orally (PO) twice daily (BID) for 24 weeks in the absence of disease progression or unacceptable toxicity. Patients also complete cognitive testing over 20-30 minutes at baseline, end of radiation therapy, and at 3, 6, 12, 30, and 60 months.

ARM II: Patients receive placebo PO BID for 24 weeks in the absence of disease progression or unacceptable toxicity. Patients also complete cognitive testing over 20-30 minutes at baseline, end of radiation therapy, and at 3, 6, 12, 30, and 60 months.


Brain Neoplasm, Recurrent Brain Neoplasm, Neoplasms, Brain Neoplasms, Memantine, Cognitive Assessment, Memantine Hydrochloride


You can join if…

Open to people ages 4-17

  • >= 4 and < 18 years at time of study entry
  • Patients must weigh 15 kg or greater at time of study entry
  • Newly diagnosed or recurrent primary brain tumors that have not received prior cranial radiotherapy
  • Planned focal, cranial or craniospinal radiation treatment for a primary brain tumor
  • The patient must have receptive and expressive language skills in English, French or Spanish since the neurocognitive function and quality of life (QOL) assessment instruments are available in these languages only
  • Creatinine clearance or radioisotope glomerular filtration rate (GFR) >= 70 mL/min/1.73 m2 or a serum creatinine based on age/gender as follows:

    • Age: 4 to < 6 years; Maximum serum creatinine (mg/dL): 0.8 male; 0.8 female
    • Age: 6 to < 10 years; Maximum serum creatinine (mg/dL): 1 male; 1 female
    • Age: 10 to < 13 years; Maximum serum creatinine (mg/dL): 1.2 male; 1.2 female
    • Age: 13 to < 16 years; Maximum serum creatinine (mg/dL): 1.5 male; 1.4 female
    • Age: >= 16 years; Maximum serum creatinine (mg/dL): 1.7 male; 1.4 female
  • Total bilirubin =< 1.5 x upper limit of normal (ULN) for age
  • Serum glutamate pyruvate transaminase (SGPT) (alanine aminotransferase [ALT]) =< 135 U/L
    • Note: For the purpose of this study, the ULN for SGPT (ALT) has been set to the value of 45 U/L
  • The patient must be able to undergo magnetic resonance imaging
  • All patients and/or their parents or legal guardians must sign a written informed consent
  • All institutional, Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and National Cancer Institute (NCI) requirements for human studies must be met

You CAN'T join if...

  • Life expectancy of less than 18 months
  • Pre-existing conditions:
    • Any contraindication or allergy to memantine
    • Intractable seizures while on adequate anticonvulsant therapy, defined as more than one seizure per month for the past 2 months or since initiating anticonvulsant therapy
    • Co-morbid systemic illnesses, psychiatric conditions, social situations, or other severe concurrent disease which, in the judgment of the investigator, would make the patient inappropriate for entry into this study or interfere significantly with the proper assessment of safety and toxicity of the prescribed regimens or would limit compliance with the study requirements
    • Patients with a motor, visual, or auditory condition that precludes computerized neurocognitive assessments are not eligible to participate
    • Patients with any medical condition or taking medications that lead to alterations of urine pH towards the alkaline condition (e.g., renal tubular acidosis, carbonic anhydrase inhibitors, sodium bicarbonate)
  • Personal history of prior cranial or craniospinal radiotherapy is not allowed
    • Note: Prior anti-cancer therapy including surgery, chemotherapy, targeted agents are allowed as per standard of care clinical treatment guidelines
  • Female patients who are pregnant are excluded since fetal toxicities and teratogenic effects have been noted for the study drug. A pregnancy test is required for female patients of childbearing potential
  • Lactating females who plan to breastfeed their infants
  • Sexually active patients of reproductive potential who do not agree to use an effective contraceptive method for the duration of their study participation


  • UCSF Medical Center-Mission Bay
    San Francisco California 94158 United States
  • Kaiser Permanente-Oakland
    Oakland California 94611 United States
  • Valley Children's Hospital
    Madera California 93636 United States
  • Lucile Packard Children's Hospital Stanford University
    Palo Alto California 94304 United States


in progress, not accepting new patients
Start Date
Completion Date
Children's Oncology Group
Phase 3 research study
Study Type
Expecting 192 study participants
Last Updated