A phase I study of cranial radiation therapy with concomitant continuous infusion paclitaxel in children with brain tumors

Li Liu, Neha Vapiwala, Louis K. Munoz, Naomi J. Winick, Steven Weitman, Lewis C. Strauss, Lawrence S. Frankel, David I. Rosenthal

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

14 Scopus citations


Background. The prognosis of children with high-grade astrocytomas of the central nervous system is grim and has not been substantially improved by conventional chemoradiotherapy. We performed a multi-institutional phase I study to determine the toxicities and tolerance of concurrent external beam radiation of the brain and a unique dose-schedule of paclitaxel as a radiation sensitizer. Procedure. Paclitaxel was delivered intravenously as a continuous 24 h/ day, 7 days/week infusion during the entire 6-week course of fixed schedule standard radiation therapy. The dose of paclitaxel was escalated in patient cohorts in standard phase I design. Results. Eleven patients (eight brain stem gliomas, one glioblastoma multiforme, and two gliomatosis cerebri) were treated, Dose-limiting toxicity was encountered in the two patients treated at 6 mg/(m2/24 h), both of whom developed severe obstipation requiring prolonged hospitalization. Conclusions. We have shown in this first study of its kind that paclitaxel can be administered safely to children as a 6-week continuous infusion concurrent with cranial irradiation. The maximally tolerated and recommended phase II dose is 4 mg/ (m2/day). The benefits of taxanes as clinical radiation sensitizers for children with high-grade gliomas, if any, remain to be determined.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)390-392
Number of pages3
JournalMedical and Pediatric Oncology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 23 2001



  • Malignant brain tumors
  • Paclitaxel
  • Radiosensitization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research

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