Medulloblastoma, pineoblastoma, and cerebral neuroblastoma are malignant embryonal tumors of the CNS that may demonstrate similar histologic features, a propensity for neuraxis dissemination and sensitivity to radiation therapy and, in certain cases, chemotherapy. To evaluate the activity of preirradiation chemotherapy in such tumors, 11 newly diagnosed children with measurable residual disease and characteristics indicative of poor prognosis were treated postoperatively with cisplatin (CDDP) and etoposide (VP-16). Responses graded on the basis of radiographic findings in areas of either macroscopic residual tumor or metastatic disease included two complete responses (CRs), eight partial responses (PRs), and one stable disease (SD). Acute and subacute toxicity consisted of high-frequency hearing loss in four patients, reversible signs and symptoms of increased intracranial pressure in two patients, and transient neutropenia. Seven of eight patients with high-risk medulloblastoma and two of two with pineoablastoma remain free of tumor progression following neuraxis irradiation at 8 to 48 months postdiagnosis (median, 18 months). CDDP and VP-16 is a highly active drug combination when given before irradiation in children with high-risk medulloblastoma and other malignant embryonal tumors of the CNS, producing objective responses in at least one site of measurable disease in 10 of 11 newly diagnosed patients, including all of five with gross neuraxis dissemination.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research