|Kellie SJ||Chemotherapy of central nervous system tumours in infants. [+]||Childs Nerv Syst 1999, 592|
|The development of curative strategies for infants and children with central nervous system tumours or acute lymphoblastic leukaemia involve similar clinical research principles. Both areas of paediatric oncology research focus on cancers with a broad range of sensitivity to chemotherapy and radiation therapy, together with concerns about the neurodevelopmental, neuroendocrine and growth outcomes of survivors. These considerations have influenced the design of curative- intent treatments, strategies for successfully eradicating leptomeningeal disease, and the importance of anatomic and functional identification of residual disease. Unlike the situation with childhood leukaemia, the emotional barriers of pessimism or even nihilism previously evident towards infants with brain tumours have only begun to crumble during the past decade. The challenge to improve both the quality and overall survival of infants with CNS tumours described in this chapter is ours to meet as we move into the new millennium. This paper examines the development of 'infant' approaches to the treatment of CNS tumours, including a discussion of epidemiology, the reasons for avoiding or delaying radiation therapy, and traces the chemotherapy hypotheses tested over the past two decades in the process of developing potentially curative therapy. The reasons for the disappointing rate of progress compared with that in childhood leukaemia, despite similar clinical research paradigms, are discussed, and potential opportunities are identified.|
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