|Allen JC, Donahue B, DaRosso R, Nirenberg A||Hyperfractionated craniospinal radiotherapy and adjuvant chemotherapy for children with newly diagnosed medulloblastoma and other primitive neuroectodermal tumors. [+]||International journal of radiation oncology, biology, physics 1996, 36: 1155|
|PURPOSE: This single-institution Phase III study conducted from 1989 to 1995 evaluates the feasibility of a multimodality protocol combining hyperfractionated craniospinal radiotherapy (HFRT) followed by adjuvant chemotherapy in 23 patients with newly diagnosed primitive neuroectodermal tumors (PNET) arising in the central nervous system. METHODS AND MATERIALS: All 23 patients had a histologically confirmed PNET and were over 3 years of age at diagnosis. The eligibility criteria for PNET patients with cerebellar primaries (medulloblastoma) included either a high T stage (T3b or 4) or high M stage (M1-3). All patients with noncerebellar primaries were eligible regardless of T or M stage. The median age of the 23 patients was 9 years (mean 3-25); 11 were female. The primary tumor arose in the cerebellum in 19. Of these medulloblastoma patients, 15 had high T stages (T3b or T4) with large locally invasive tumors and no evidence of metastases (M0), constituting Group 1. Thirteen (86%) of these patients had gross total resections. Four other medulloblastoma patients had both high T and high M stages, constituting Group 2. Group 3 consisted of four other patients with exocerebellar primaries (two brain, one brain stem, and one cauda equina), three of whom were M3. Hyperfractionated radiotherapy was administered within 4 weeks of surgery. Twice-daily 1-Gy fractions were administered separated by 4-6 h. The total dose to the primary intracranial tumor and other areas of measurable intracranial disease was 72 Gy. The prophylactic craniospinal axis dose was 36 Gy, and boosts of 44-56 Gy were administered to metastatic spinal deposits. Following radiotherapy, monthly courses of multiagent chemotherapy were administered sequentially (cyclophosphamide-vincristine followed by cisplatin-etoposide followed by carboplatin-vincristine) for a total of 9 months. RESULTS: All patients completed radiotherapy as planned. Only three patients lost >10% of their body weight. One patient had clinically apparent radiation-induced esophagitis. The mean white blood count (WBC) nadir was 2.5/dl, and hematologic recovery occurred in all within 4 weeks of completing HFRT without the need of granulocyte-colony-stimulating factor. Two patients refused adjuvant chemotherapy, 3 patients experienced tumor progression during chemotherapy, and 2 of 18 remaining patients could not tolerate the full 9 months owing to hematologic toxicity. Of the 15 patients (93%) in Group 1, 14 remain in continuous remission for a median of 78 months, and none have died. Two of four patients in Group 2 are in continuous remission at 67 and 35 months, and two died at 18 and 30 months. One of the two patients in Group 2 who died refused adjuvant chemotherapy and developed tumor progression in the bone marrow. None of the three patients in Group 3 with evaluable disease (M3) had a complete response to therapy, and eventually all four died of progressive or recurrent disease. CONCLUSION: This multimodality protocol is feasible in the short term, and long-term monitoring of neurocognitive and neuroendocrine effects are in progress. Excellent long-term disease control has been achieved for medulloblastoma patients with high T stages who were M0 at diagnosis (Group 1), the majority of whom had gross total resections. This group has a progression-free survival of 95% after a median period of follow-up of 6.5 years. Alternative treatment strategies must be developed for patients with high M stages, as five of seven patients died of progressive or recurrent disease.|
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