Only about half of patients with a poor-prognosis non-seminomatous germ-cell tumours can achieve a cure. The aim of this phase II study was to assess the efficacy and toxicity of a dose-dense alternating chemotherapy regimen in this subset of patients. High volume non-seminomatous germ-cell tumours was defined as follows: at least two sites of non pulmonary metastases, an extragonadal primary tumour, a serum human chorionic gonadotropin level higher than 10 000 mIU ml−1, or a alpha-foetoprotein level higher than 2000 mIU ml−1. Patients who fulfilled these criteria were treated with the so-called BOP-CISCA-POMB-ACE regimen (bleomycin, vincristine, and cisplatin; cisplatin, cyclophosphamide, and doxorubicin; cisplatin, vincristine, methotrexate, and bleomycin; etoposide, dactinomycin, and cyclophosphamide) plus granulocyte colony-stimulating factor. A total of 58 patients were enrolled. Patients were retrospectively classified according to the International Germ-Cell Cancer Consensus Group classification; 38 patients (66%) had poor-prognosis disease and 19 patients (33%) had intermediate-prognosis. Patients received a median of 2.5 courses (range 0.25 to five courses) of the BOP-CISCA-POMB-ACE regimen. Forty-two patients (72.4%) had a complete response to therapy. With a median follow-up time of 31 months, the 3-year progression-free survival rate was 71% (95% confidence interval, 60 to 84%) and the 3-year overall survival rate was 73% (95% confidence interval: 62 to 86%). The 3-year PFS rates were 83% (95% confidence interval: 68 to 100%) in the intermediate-prognosis group and 65% (95% confidence interval: 51 to 82%) in the poor-prognosis group. Early side effects included mainly grade 4 haematologic toxicity (neutropaenia in 79% of patients, thrombocytopaenia in 69%, anaemia in 22%), grade 4 stomatitis (19%), and four early deaths (7% of patients), at least partially related to toxicity. The dose-dense BOP-CISCA-POMB-ACE regimen is highly active in patients with non-seminomatous germ-cell tumours classified as intermediate-prognosis or poor-prognosis according to the International Germ-Cell Cancer Consensus Group. Because outcomes with this regimen compare favourably with outcome after standard therapy, dose-dense chemotherapy should be further investigated in this subset of patients.
British Journal of Cancer (2002) 86, 1555–1560. DOI: 10.1038/sj/bjc/6600272 www.bjcancer.com
© 2002 Cancer Research UK
chemotherapy; dose-dense chemotherapy; germ-cell tumours; International Germ-Cell Cancer Consensus Group; non-seminomatous germ cell-tumours
A 23-year-old man with a right scrotal mass and back pain was referred for further treatment after right radical orchiectomy for testicular cancer. CT scans brought by the patient showed extensive metastasis to the retroperitoneal lymph nodes with no lung involvement. α-Fetoprotein and human chorionic gonadotropin were elevated preoperatively (384 ng/ml and 112 mIU/ml, respectively). Confirmation of the histopathologic examination revealed a mixed germ cell tumor (95% immature teratoma and 5% embryonal carcinoma). We started the patient on chemotherapy with bleomycin, etoposide, and cisplatin (BEP). After a single course, tumor markers began to normalize, but there was radiologic evidence of continued growth of the retroperitoneal mass and new metastases in the lung. The patient was given 2 courses of salvage chemotherapy with etoposide, ifosfamide, and cisplatin (VIP). However, the mass and lung metastases continued to progress, and the patient was growing rapidly intolerant of the side effects of treatment (i.e., nausea, appetite loss, and pancytopenia). After thorough discussion with the patient and his family, we decided to start the patient on interferon (IFN)-α therapy. Natural, nonrecombinant IFN-α (OIF, Otsuka, Japan) 5,000,000 IU was administered twice weekly with approval of the ethics committee of our institution. The patient responded moderately with marked deceleration of tumor growth and stabilization of the lung metastases. He is alive and well at 16 months on IFN-α therapy.
Testicular tumor; Immature teratoma; Growing teratoma syndrome; Interferon-α
New chemotherapy regimens are continuously explored in patients with high-risk malignant germ cell tumours (MGCTs). This multicentre phase II trial assessed the efficacy and toxicity of C-BOP/BEP chemotherapy in intermediate and poor prognosis MGCT (IGCCCG criteria). C-BOP/BEP treatment consisted of cycles of cisplatin, vincristine, bleomycin and carboplatin, followed by one cycle of vincristine and bleomycin and three cycles of BEP (bleomycon, etoposide, cisplatin). The trial was designed to demonstrate a 1-year progression-free survival rate of 80%, that is, to exclude a 1-year rate of 70% or less, with a one-sided significance level of 5%. Secondary end points included toxicity, overall survival and the postchemotherapy complete response rate. In total, 16 European hospitals entered 66 eligible patients (intermediate prognosis group: 37; poor prognosis group: 29). A total of 45 patients (68.2%, 95% confidence interval (95% CI): 56.9–79.4%) achieved a complete response (intermediate prognosis: 30; poor prognosis: 15). After a median observation time of 40.4 months (range: 13.7–66.3), the 1-year progression-free survival rate was 81.8% 95% CI: 72.5–91.1%). The 2-year overall survival was 84.5% (95% CI: 75.6–93.3%). In all, 51 patients experienced at least one episode of WHO grade 3/4 leucopenia, and at least one event of grade 3/4 thrombocytopenia occurred in 30 patients. There was no toxic death. With an 82% 1-year progression-free survival and a lower limit of the 95% CI above 70%, the efficacy of C-BOP/BEP is comparable to that of published alternative chemotherapy schedules in high-risk MGCT patients. The treatment's toxicity is manageable in a multicentre setting. In poor prognosis patients, C-BOP/BEP should be compared to standard chemotherapy of four cycles of BEP.
intermediate and poor prognosis metastatic germ cell tumours; bleomycin; carboplatin; vincristine; cisplatin; etoposide
In this study, we investigated the effects of reduced-dose craniospinal radiotherapy (CSRT) followed by tandem high-dose chemotherapy (HDCT) with autologous stem cell rescue (ASCR) in children with a newly diagnosed high-risk medulloblastoma (MB) or supratentorial primitive neuroectodermal tumor (sPNET).
Between March 2005 and April 2007, patients older than 3 years with a newly diagnosed high-risk MB or sPNET were enrolled. The patients received two cycles of pre-RT chemotherapy consisting of cisplatin, etoposide, vincristine, and cyclophosphamide (cycle A), and carboplatin, etoposide, vincristine, and ifosphamide (cycle B), followed by CSRT with 23.4 Gy and local RT with 30.6 Gy. After four cycles of post-RT chemotherapy (cycles A, B, A, and B), tandem double HDCT with ASCR was performed.
A total of 13 patients (MB=11, sPNET=2) were enrolled. Of these, one patient progressed, one patient died of septic shock after the second cycle of B, and one patient relapsed after the third cycle of B. The 3-year event-free survival (EFS) rate of the patients intended for HDCT was 76.9%, whereas the 3-year EFS rate of the patients who received HDCT was 100%. No treatment-related mortality occurred during HDCT.
Although the follow-up period was short and the patient cohort was small in size, the results of this study are encouraging. The limited toxicity and favorable EFS rate observed in children treated with reduced-dose CSRT followed by HDCT and ASCR warrant further exploration in a larger study population.
Radiotherapy; High-dose chemotherapy; Autologous stem cell transplantation; Medulloblastoma; Supratentorial primitive neuroectodermal tumor; Children
We analysed outcome in 206 consecutive male patients treated for metastatic non-seminomatous germ cell tumour (NSGCT) of testicular or extragonadal origin treated with the POMB/ACE (cisplatin, vincristine, methotrexate, bleomycin, actinomycin D, cyclophosphamide, etoposide) regimen after division into prognostic groups by commonly used clinical classification systems and definitions of adverse prognosis. The adverse prognostic groups of all classification systems and definitions examined showed similar, but only moderate, sensitivity (71-81%) and specificity (52-56%) in predicting death. A simple definition of poor prognosis based on raised initial levels of serum tumour markers alpha fetoprotein (aFP) and human chorionic gonadotrophin (hCG) proved at least as useful (sensitivity 80%, specificity 55%) as other more complicated systems in predicting failure to achieve long-term survival. Comparison of survival between ultra-high dose cisplatin-based combination chemotherapy and patients treated with POMB/ACE shows no advantage from this more toxic approach. This suggests that good results in adverse prognosis patients can be achieved using conventional dose regimens administered intensively.
This study aimed to share our experience with tumors of undescended testis (UDT) and to assess the impact of primary cisplatin-based chemotherapy on such tumors.
Materials and Methods:
This study included the cases of tumor in UDT from February 2005 to December 2011. Evaluation of the cases was done with proper clinical examination and laboratory investigations along with tumor markers (alfa-feto protein, beta-human chorionic gonadotropin, lactate dehydrogenase) and contrast-enhanced computed tomography abdomen. Fine needle aspiration cytologywas done in all cases. Primary chemotherapy with three cycles of bleomycin, etoposide, and cisplatin regimen at three weekly intervals started in all cases. Response to treatment was seen after four weeks of the third cycle.
Fourteen cases (12.5%) of germ cell tumor in UDT out of 112 cases of germ cell tumor of the testis were included. The age ranged from 16-60 years. Histological diagnosis was pure seminoma in all cases. After three cycles of BEP regime, complete response was seen in 11 cases and partial response in three cases where the residual tumor was excised along with retroperitoneal lymph node dissection RPLND. Of the 14 cases, 13 were in regular follow-up and one was lost to follow-up. All on follow-up were doing well without recurrence till now.
Surgical removal of the primary tumor in UDT with or without bulky metastasis is complicated. Primary chemotherapy with cisplatin-based regimen is a good option in such cases.
BEP; cisplatin; undescended testis; primary chemotherapy
Children with high risk medulloblastoma and non-cerebellar PNET’s were treated on a phase II study of pre-radiotherapy chemotherapy (CHT) followed by high dose, hyperfractionated craniospinal radiotherapy (CSRT). The protocol objectives were to verify feasibility and monitor progression-free (PFS) and overall survival (OS).
Methods and Materials
Eligibility criteria included age >3 years at diagnosis, medulloblastoma with either high M stage and/or >1.5 cm2 post-op residual disease and all patients with non-cerebellar PNET. Treatment was initiated with 5 alternating monthly cycles of CHT [A (cisplatin, cyclophosphamide, etoposide and vincristine, B (carboplatin and etoposide), A, B and A] followed by hyperfractionated CSRT (40 Gy) with a boost to the primary tumor (72 Gy) given in twice daily 1 Gy fractions.
The valid study group consisted of 124 patients whose median age at diagnosis was 7.8 years. Eighty-four (68%) patients completed the entire protocol within the study guidelines of 9 months and the median time to complete CSRT was 1.6 months. Major reasons for failure to complete CHT included progressive disease (17%) and toxic death (2.4%). The 5-year PFS and OS were 43 ± 5% and 52 ± 5%. No significant differences were detected in subset analysis related to response to CHT, site of primary tumor, post-op residual disease or M-stage.
The feasibility of this intensive multi-modality protocol was confirmed and response to pre-RT CHT did not impact on survival. Survival data from this protocol can not be compared to other studies, given the protocol design.
PNET; Medulloblastoma; High risk; Hyperfractionated radiotherapy; Pre-radiation chemotherapy
Cisplatin-based chemotherapy has been commonly used for the treatment of intracranial germ cell tumors (IC-GCTs). However, this treatment exhibits some adverse effects such as renal problems and hearing difficulty. Carboplatin-based chemotherapy was administered to pediatric patients with IC-GCTs from August 2004 at the Samsung Medical Center. In this study, we assessed the responses and adverse effects of carboplatin-based chemotherapy in pediatric IC-GCTs patients according to the risk group, and compared the results with those of the previous cisplatin-based chemotherapy.
We examined 35 patients (27 men and 8 women) diagnosed with IC-GCTs between August 2004 and April 2008 and received risk-adapted carboplatin-based chemotherapy at the Samsung Medical Center. Patients were divided into either low-risk (LR) or high-risk (HR) groups and a retrospective analysis was performed using information from the medical records.
Although hematological complications were common, hearing difficulties or grade 3 or 4 creatinine level elevation were not observed in patients who underwent carboplatin-based chemotherapy. The frequency of febrile neutropenia did not differ between the risk groups. The overall survival was 100% and event-free survival (EFS) was 95.7%. The EFS rate was 100% in the LR group and 90% in the HR group, respectively.
Despite their common occurrence in high-risk patients, no lethal hematological complications were associated with carboplatin-based treatment. The current carboplatin-based chemotherapy protocol is safe and effective for the treatment of pediatric patients with IC-GCTs.
Intracranial germ cell tumor; Carboplatin; Adverse effects
Adjuvant BEP (bleomycin, etoposide, cisplatin) is effective treatment for high-risk clinical stage I (HRCS1) non-seminomatous germ cell tumours (NSGCT), but the known toxicities of etoposide, and the expansion of the HR group to any patient with vascular invasion (50% of patients), led the Medical Research Council to pilot the BOP regimen. Patients received two courses of BOP 14 days apart: cisplatin 50 mg m−2 days 1 and 2, vincristine 1.4 mg m−2 (max. 2 mg) days 2 and 8, bleomycin 30 000 IU days 2 and 8. Primary outcome was relapse rate; quality of life, fertility, hearing and lung function were assessed pre- and post-treatment. In all, 100 patients were required. A total of 115 eligible patients were registered, all received two courses of chemotherapy. Median follow-up is 70 months; two relapses have occurred and the 5-year relapse-free rate is 98.3% (95% confidence interval (CI) 95.5%, 99.9%). As assessed by clinicians during treatment, complete (reversible) alopecia was present in 20% of patients; World Health Organization (WHO) grade 1/2 neurotoxicity was present in 41%/5% of patients during treatment and 22%/1% at 6 months. However, 12% of patients reported ‘quite a bit' or ‘very much' pain/numbness/tingling in hands/feet 2 years after chemotherapy. Mature follow-up confirms high efficacy for two courses of cisplatin-based adjuvant chemotherapy in HRCS1 NSGCT. Substituting vincristine for etoposide decreases alopecia, but gives a low incidence of significant neuropathy. There are no clearcut advantages to 2 × BOP over 2 × BEP, except for patients who wish to maximise the chance of avoiding significant alopecia.
adjuvant chemotherapy; stage I non-seminoma
The management of patients with testicular germ cell tumors (GCT) has evolved significantly over the past 30 years with cure rates approaching nearly 100% for low-stage disease and more than 80% for advanced disease. Controversy surrounds about ideal management of clinical stage I non seminomatous germ cell tumors (CS I NSGCT) of the testis due to multiple treatment options available with more or less equal efficacy. Nerve-sparing retroperitoneal lymph node dissection (RPLND), adjuvant chemotherapy with two cycles of bleomycin, etoposide, and cisplatin , or surveillance have all achieved long-term survival in nearly 100% of patients with clinical stage I NSGCT. Retroperitoneal lymph node dissection is still favoured as the therapy of choice for clinical stage I non-seminomatous germ cell tumors in many centres, but as risk factors for the primary tumor have become better understood, surveillance and risk-adapted therapy, including surveillance for low-risk patients and adjuvant chemotherapy for the high-risk group, is now being considered a therapeutic option. The objective of this study is to review current developments in the management of CS I NSGCT testis with emphasis on risk stratification and treatment recommendations.
Testis cancer; NSGCT stage 1; Surveillance; Chemotherapy; RPLND
High-dose chemotherapy (HDCT) with autologous stem cell support has been studied in both the salvage and first-line setting in advanced germ cell tumor (GCT) patients with poor-risk features. While early studies reported significant treatment-related mortality, introduction of peripheral blood stem cell transplantation, recombinant growth factors and better supportive care have decreased toxicity; and in more recent reports treatment-related deaths are observed in <3% of patients. Two to three cycles of high-dose carboplatin and etoposide is the standard backbone for HDCT, given with or without additional agents including ifosfamide, cyclophosphamide and paclitaxel. Three large randomized Phase III trials have failed to show a benefit of HDCT over conventional-dose chemotherapy (CDCT) in the first-line treatment of patients with intermediate- or poor-risk advanced GCT, and to date the routine use of HDCT has been reserved for the salvage setting. Several prognostic models have been developed to help predict outcome of salvage HDCT, the most recent of which applies to both CDCT and HDCT in the initial salvage setting. Patients that relapse after HDCT are usually considered incurable, and additional therapy is provided with palliative intent.
chemotherapy; germ cell tumors; high-dose chemotherapy; stem cell transplantation; testicular cancer
Long-term outcome was reviewed in 266 consecutive patients with metastatic non-seminomatous germ cell tumours treated at a single institution. The overall 3 year survival was 77%, and 3 year progression-free survival was 71%. Multivariate analysis identified the following clinical features as independent prognostic factors: the presence of liver, bone or brain metastasis, serum human chorionic gonadotropin > or = 10000 U l-1 and/or alpha-fetoprotein > or = 1000 ng ml-1, a mediastinal mass > 5 cm and the presence of 20 or more lung metastases. Age was not of prognostic significance. Patients without any of the above poor-risk factors had a 3 year survival of 91% regardless of etoposide- or vinblastine-containing chemotherapy compared with 61% for the remaining patients. However, etoposide-containing protocols led to significantly improved survival in patients with at least one poor risk factor. After 612 patient-years of observation no case of secondary leukaemia was observed among 119 surviving patients who had received etoposide as part of their treatment. With a median follow-up of 93 months, five patients developed a second germ cell tumour, two patients nongerm cell malignancies. Fourteen patients relapsed after a disease-free interval of more than 2 years, and nine patients died more than 5 years after commencement of treatment underscoring the need to report long-term results. There is some evidence that cumulative experience translates into improved survival and cure rates for patients with poor-risk metastatic disease.
Small cell carcinoma of the ovary of the hypercalcemic type (SCCOHT) is a very rare tumor type that mainly affects young women. We report a 21-year old woman with SCCOHT. The patient initially presented with stage T3AN1MX disease and treated with surgery. The patient then received 8 cycles of multi-agent chemotherapy including cisplatin, bleomycin, cyclophosphamide, doxorubicin, and etoposide. Upon relapse, the patient underwent total abdominal hysterectomy, followed by chemotherapy with gemcitabine. The patient subsequently received radiation therapy and chemotherapy with bevacizumab, irinotecan and docetaxel. She passed away approximately 5 months after the second surgery and with her prior permission an immediate autopsy was performed. We examined the gene expression and copy number profiles of the tumor tissue samples obtained from the autopsy and compared them to normal ovary tissues. Our results indicated that although this tumor did not harbor chromosomal abnormalities nor gene copy number changes, there were significant gene expression changes in a number of genes/pathways. More than 5,000 genes showed significant differential expression in the tumor when compared to normal ovary tissue. Pathway enrichment analysis further identified several pathways/processes including the Vitamin D receptor signaling and the hedgehog signaling pathways to be significantly dysregulated. The gene expression profiling also suggests a number of agents such as pazopanib, bortezomib, 5-azacytidine, and PARP inhibitors as treatment options to possibly explore in future trials against this disease.
Small cell carcinoma; hypercalcemic type; ovarian carcinoma
Part 7 of an update of the state of the art of cancer chemotherapy of the genitourinary tract is directed to the treatment of gestational trophoblastic neoplasms. Chemotherapy is the cornerstone of treatment for gestational trophoblastic neoplasms, as these tumors are generally highly curable with chemotherapy.
In early stage disease, 40 percent of cases are cured with hysterectomy. In low-risk cases, single-agent methotrexate or dactinomycin provides cure rates of over 90 percent. In high-risk disease sequential methotrexate/dactinomycin, methotrexate plus dactinomycin plus cyclophosphamide or chlorambucil, or methotrexate plus 6-mercaptopurine, or a combination protocol consisting of cyclophosphamide, hydroxyurea, dactinomycin, methotrexate, vincristine (VCR), folinic acid, and doxorubicin (CHAMOCA) produce complete remission rates in 70 to 80 percent of patients. Newer studies are under way with etoposide (VP16), cisplatin, and investigational agents to determine whether better chemotherapy regimens can be developed.
Hodgkin lymphoma is highly curable but associated with significant late effects. Reduction of total treatment would be anticipated to reduce late effects. This aim of this study was to demonstrate that a reduction in treatment was possible without compromising survival outcomes.
Protocol P9426, a response-dependent and reduced treatment for low risk Hodgkin lymphoma (stages I, IIA, and IIIA1) was designed in 1994 based on a previous pilot project. Patients were enrolled from 10/15/1996 to 09/19/2000. Patients were randomized to receive or not receive Dexrazoxane and received 2 cycles of chemotherapy consisting of Doxorubicin, Bleomycin, Vincristine, and Etoposide. After 2 cycles, patients were evaluated for response. Those in complete response (CR) received 2550 cGy of involved field radiation therapy (IFRT). Patient with partial response or stable disease, received 2 more cycles of chemotherapy and IFRT at 2550 cGy.
There were 294 patients enrolled, with 255 eligible for analysis. The 8 year event free survival (EFS) between the Dexrazoxane randomized groups did not differ (EFS 86.8 + 3.1% with DRZ, and 85.7 + 3.3% without DRZ (p=0.70). Forty five percent of patients demonstrated CR after two cycles of chemotherapy. There was no difference in EFS by histology, rapidity of response, or number of cycles of chemotherapy. Six of the eight secondary malignancies in this study have been previously reported.
Despite reduced therapy and exclusion of most patients with Lymphocyte Predominant histology, EFS and overall survival are similar to other reported studies. The protocol documents that it is safe and effective to reduce therapy in low risk Hodgkin lymphoma based on early response to chemotherapy with rapid responding patients having the same outcome as slower-responding patients when given 50% of the chemotherapy.
Response-dependent; Hodgkin lymphoma; children and adolescents
Embryonal cell carcinoma is a rare clinical entity. We report a case of a 20-year-old patient who presented with lump lower abdomen for last two months with primary amenorrhea and poorly developed secondary sexual characteristics. Ultrasonography (USG) whole abdomen showed lower abdominal mass approximately 15×15×10 cm, probably neoplastic changes in intra-abdominal testis, with mild ascites, no uterus and ovaries. Fine needle aspiration cytology from the tumor mass reported the possibility of non-seminomatous germ cell tumor, possibly embryonal carcinoma. The patient received three cycles of neo-adjuvant chemotherapy (Regime Bleomycin, Etoposide and Cisplatin) followed by laparotomy, at laparotomy (L) orchidectomy with removal of tumor, (R) orchidectomy, omentectomy and appendisectomy was performed. Postoperatively the patient received two more cycles of chemotherapy of the same regime. The patient has been under close follow-up for the last three years with no evidence of disease.
Androgen insensitivity syndrome; karyotype; masculinisation; mosaicism; virilisation
This randomised trial compared platinum-based to anthracycline-based chemotherapy in patients with small-cell lung cancer (limited or extensive stage) and ⩽2 adverse prognostic factors. Patients were randomised to receive six cycles of either ACE (doxorubicin 50 mg/m2 i.v., cyclophosphamide 1 g/m2 i.v. and etoposide 120 mg/m2 i.v. on day 1, then etoposide 240 mg/m2 orally for 2 days) or PE (cisplatin 80 mg/m2 and etoposide 120 mg/m2 i.v. on day 1, then etoposide 240 mg/m2 orally for 2 days) given for every 3 weeks. For patients where cisplatin was not suitable, carboplatin (AUC6) was substituted. A total of 280 patients were included (139 ACE, 141 PE). The response rates were 72% for ACE and 77% for PE. One-year survival rates were 34 and 38% (P=0.497), respectively and 2-year survival was the same (12%) for both arms. For LD patients, the median survival was 10.9 months for ACE and 12.6 months for PE (P=0.51); for ED patients median survival was 8.3 months and 7.5 months, respectively. More grades 3 and 4 neutropenia (90 vs 57%, P<0.005) and grades 3 and 4 infections (73 vs 29%, P<0.005) occurred with ACE, resulting in more days of hospitalisation and greater i.v. antibiotic use. ACE was associated with a higher risk of neutropenic sepsis than PE and with a trend towards worse outcome in patients with LD, and should not be studied further in this group of patients.
small-cell lung cancer; chemotherapy; randomised clinical trial; cisplatin; doxorubicin
We present the case of a congenital localised sacrococcygeal primitive neuroectodermal tumor treated aggressively with surgical resection and modified age-appropriate adjuvant chemotherapy. The conventional combination chemotherapy of vincristine, adriamycin, cyclophosphamide, ifosfamide and etoposide was modified to a regimen including vincristine, adriamicin, cyclophosphamide and actinomycin in order to minimise the predicted toxicity in this age group. Adjuvant “induction” chemotherapy commenced at 4 weeks of age and consisted of four cycles of vincristine, adriamycin and cyclophosphamide at 50%, 75%, 75% and 100% of recommended doses (vincristine 0.05 mg/kg, adriamycin 0.83 mg/kg daily × 2, cyclophosphamide 40 mg/kg) at 3-weekly intervals. This was followed by four cycles of “maintenance” chemotherapy with vincristine (0.025 mg/kg), actinomycin (0.025 mg/kg) and cyclophosphamide (36 mg/kg) at full recommended doses. Cardioxane at a dose of 16.6 mg/kg was infused immediately prior to the adriamycin. Our patient is thriving at 19 months out from end of treatment.
Chemotherapy; neonatal; peripheral primitive neuroectodermal tumor; primitive neuroectodermal tumor
The objective of this study was to assess the efficacy of the VETOPEC regimen, a regimen of vincristine and etoposide with escalating doses of cyclophosphamide (CPA), in pediatric patients with high-risk brain tumors. Three consecutive studies by the Australia and New Zealand Children’s Cancer Study Group—VETOPEC I, Baby Brain 91, and VETOPEC II—have used a specific chemotherapy regimen of vincristine (VCR), etoposide (VP-16) and escalating CPA in patients with relapsed, refractory, or high-risk solid tumors. Patients in the VETOPEC II cohort were treated with very high dose CPA with peripheral blood stem cell (PBSC) rescue. We analyzed the subset of patients with high-risk brain tumors treated with these intensive VETOPEC-based protocols to assess the response, toxicity, and survival. We also assessed whether the use of very high dose chemotherapy with stem cell rescue improved the response rate or affected toxicity. Seventy-one brain tumor patients were treated with VETOPEC-based protocols. Of the 54 patients evaluable for tumor response, 17 had a complete response (CR) and 20 a partial response (PR) to treatment, which yielded an overall response rate of 69%. The CR + PR was 83% (19/23) for medulloblastomas, 56% (5/9) for primitive neuroectodermal tumors, 55% (6/11) for grade 3 and 4 astrocytomas, and 80% (6/8) for ependymomas. At a median follow-up of 36 months, overall survival for the entire cohort of 71 patients was 32%, with event-free survival of 13%. There were no toxic deaths within the PBSC-supported VETOPEC II cohort, despite higher CPA doses, compared with 7% among the non-PBSC patients. This regimen produces high response rates in a variety of very poor prognosis pediatric brain tumors. The maximum tolerated dose of CPA was not reached. Higher escalation in doses of CPA did not deliver a further improvement in response. With PBSC rescue in the VETOPEC II study, hematologic toxicity was no longer a limiting factor. The response rates observed support further development of this chemotherapy regimen.
brain tumor; childhood; cyclophosphamide; high-dose chemotherapy; stem cell transplant
Chemotherapy with alternating vincristine-doxorubicin-cyclophosphamide and ifosfamide-etoposide cycles and primary tumor treatment with surgery and/or radiation therapy constitute the usual approach to localized Ewing sarcoma in North America. We tested whether chemotherapy intensification through interval compression could improve outcome.
Patients and Methods
This was a prospective, randomized controlled trial for patients younger than 50 years old with newly diagnosed localized extradural Ewing sarcoma. Patients assigned to standard and intensified treatment were to begin chemotherapy cycles every 21 and 14 days, respectively, provided an absolute neutrophil count greater than 750 × 106/L and a platelet count greater than 75 × 109/L. Patients received vincristine (2 mg/m2), doxorubicin (75 mg/m2), and cyclophosphamide (1.2 g/m2) alternating with ifosfamide (9 g/m2) and etoposide (500 mg/m2) for 14 cycles, with filgrastim (5 mg/kg per day; maximum, 300 mg) between cycles. Primary tumor treatment (surgery, radiation, or both) was to begin at week 13 (after four cycles in the standard arm and six cycles in the intensified arm). The primary end point was event-free survival (EFS). The study is registered at ClinicalTrials.gov (identifier: NCT00006734).
Five hundred eighty-seven patients were enrolled and randomly assigned, and 568 patients were eligible, with 284 patients in each regimen. For all cycles, the median cycle interval for standard treatment was 21 days (mean, 22.45 days); for intensified treatment, the median interval was 15 days (mean, 17.29 days). EFS at a median of 5 years was 65% in the standard arm and 73% in the intensified arm (P = .048). The toxicity of the regimens was similar.
For localized Ewing sarcoma, chemotherapy administered every 2 weeks is more effective than chemotherapy administered every 3 weeks, with no increase in toxicity.
In a study of chemotherapy as palliative treatment, 300 patients with untreated limited and extensive stage small cell lung cancer (SCLC), who did not have progressive disease after the first cycle of chemotherapy, were randomised to receive either regular 'planned' chemotherapy or chemotherapy given 'as required' (AR). All patients received the same chemotherapy: cyclophosphamide 1 gm m-2 i.v., vincristine 2 mg i.v., and etoposide 120 mg m-2 i.v. on day 1, and etoposide 100 mg b.d. orally on days 2 and 3. Planned chemotherapy was given regularly every 3 weeks. AR chemotherapy was given for tumour-related symptoms, or for radiological progression of disease. Both groups of patients were assessed every 3 weeks and a maximum of eight cycles of chemotherapy was given. A detailed quality of life assessment was made using daily diary cards. The median survival (MS) of patients given AR chemotherapy was not significantly worse than those receiving planned treatment [MS: Planned = 36 weeks (95% C.I. 32-40 weeks), AR = 32 weeks (95% C.I. 28-37 weeks) P = 0.960]. In the AR patients the median interval between treatments was 42 days. On average AR patients received half as much chemotherapy as planned patients. AR patients with a treatment-free interval (TFI) of more than 8 weeks between the first and second cycles of chemotherapy survived longer than those in whom this interval was less than 4 weeks; [MS: TFI greater than 8 = 47 weeks (95% C.I. 32-53 weeks); TFI less than 4 = 24 weeks (95% C.I. 17-34 weeks) P = 0.013]. Contrary to expectation, in the quality of life assessment the AR patients scored themselves as having more severe symptoms than patients receiving planned treatment. AR chemotherapy is a novel method of attempting to use cytotoxic drugs palliatively, which resulted in less drug treatment for approximately equivalent survival. However the palliative effect seen with as required treatment was less satisfactory than with planned chemotherapy.
Background: To compare the efficacy of one cycle of standard dose cisplatin, etoposide, and ifosfamide (VIP) plus three cycles of high-dose VIP followed by stem-cell infusion [high-dose chemotherapy (HD-CT arm)] to four cycles of standard cisplatin, etoposide, and bleomycin (BEP) in patients with poor-prognosis germ-cell cancer (GCC).
Patient and methods: Patients with poor-prognosis GCC were assigned to receive either BEP or VIP followed by HD-CT. To show a 15% improvement in a 1-year failure-free survival (FFS), the study aimed to recruit 222 patients but closed with 137, due to slow accrual.
Results: One hundred thirty-one patients were included in this analysis. The complete response rates in the HD-CT and in the BEP arm did not differ: (intention to treat) 44.6% versus 33.3% (P = 0.18). There was no difference in FFS between the two treatment arms (P = 0.057, 66 events). At 2 years, the FFS rate was 44.8% [95% confidence interval (CI) 32.5–56.4] and 58.2%, respectively (95% CI 48.0–71.9); but this 16.3% (standard deviation 7.5%) difference was not statistically significant (P = 0.060). Overall survival did not differ between the two groups (log-rank P > 0.1, 47 deaths).
Conclusion: This study could not demonstrate that high-dose chemotherapy given as part of first-line therapy improves outcome in patients with poor-prognosis GCC.
germ-cell tumor; high-dose chemotherapy; phase III
This study was performed to determine the changes in pulmonary function in patients randomised to receive treatment with four cycles of bleomycin, etoposide and cisplatin (BEP) (27 patients) or with four cycles of etoposide and cisplatin (EP) (27 patients) for disseminated non-seminomatous testicular cancer. This enabled us to establish whether effects other than those due to bleomycin determined the detrimental effects of BEP on lung function assessments. Slow inspiratory vital capacity (VC), the transfer factor of the lungs for carbon monoxide (TLCO), the diffusing capacity of the alveolo-capillary membrane (Dm), the pulmonary capillary blood volume (Vc) and the transfer factor of the lungs for carbon monoxide per unit alveolar volume (KCO) were determined before and at 3 week intervals during chemotherapy. Both groups, similar in terms of factors that may influence pulmonary function, showed during therapy a significant decrease in TLCO compared with the pretreatment value. Only at the end of the therapy was a significant difference in TLCO between both groups observed. Dm diminished also significantly in both groups during treatment, but differences between both groups were not seen. VC and Vc decreased in patients receiving BEP but remained constant during treatment with EP. It can be concluded that the Dm, KCO, and the widely used TLCO are not suitable parameters to monitor specifically pulmonary toxicity induced by bleomycin as part of a multidrug regimen. However, VC and Vc appear to be proper lung function assessments which reflect specifically alterations induced by bleomycin.
To compare the efficacy of four cycles of paclitaxel–bleomycin, etoposide, and cisplatin (T-BEP) to four cycles of bleomycin, etoposide, and cisplatin (BEP) in previously untreated patients with intermediate-prognosis germ-cell cancer (GCC).
Patients and Methods
Patients were randomly assigned to receive either T-BEP or standard BEP. Patients assigned to the T-BEP group received paclitaxel 175 mg/m2 in a 3-hour infusion. Patients who were administered T-BEP received primary granulocyte colony-stimulating factor (G-CSF) prophylaxis. The study was designed as a randomized open-label phase II/III study. To show a 10% improvement in 3-year progression-free survival (PFS), the study aimed to recruit 498 patients but closed with 337 patients as a result of slow accrual.
Accrual was from November 1998 to April 2009. A total of 169patients were administered BEP, and 168 patients were administered T-BEP. Thirteen patients in both arms were ineligible, mainly as a result of a good prognosis of GCC (eight patients administered BEP; six patients administered T-BEP) or a poor prognosis of GCC (one patient administered BEP; four patients administered T-BEP). PFS at 3 years (intent to treat) was 79.4% in the T-BEP group versus 71.1% in the BEP group (hazard ratio [HR], 0.73; CI, 0.47 to 1.13; P [log-rank test] = 0.153). PFS at 3 years in all eligible patients was 82.7% versus 70.1%, respectively (HR, 0.60; CI: 0.37 to 0.97) and was statistically significant (P = 0.03). Overall survival was not statistically different.
T-BEP administered with G-CSF seems to be a safe and effective treatment regimen for patients with intermediate-prognosis GCC. However, the study recruited a smaller-than-planned number of patients and included 7.7% ineligible patients. The primary analysis of the trial could not demonstrate statistical superiority of T-BEP for PFS. When ineligible patients were excluded, the analysis of all eligible patients demonstrated a 12% superior 3-year PFS with T-BEP, which was statistically significant.
Adjuvant treatment for intramedullary tumours is based on radiotherapy. The place of chemotherapy in this setting has yet to be determined. Between May 1992 and January 1998, eight children with unresectable or recurrent intramedullary glioma were treated with the BB SFOP protocol (a 16-month chemotherapy regimen with carboplatin, procarbazine, vincristine, cyclophosphamide, etoposide and cisplatin). Six children had progressive disease following incomplete surgery and two had a post-operative relapse. Three patients had leptomeningeal dissemination at the outset of chemotherapy. Seven of the eight children responded clinically and radiologically, while one remained stable. At the end of the BB SFOP protocol four children were in radiological complete remission. After a median follow-up of 3 years from the beginning of chemotherapy, all the children but one (who died from another cause) are alive. Five patients remain progression-free, without radiotherapy, 59, 55, 40, 35 and 16 months after the beginning of chemotherapy. The efficacy of this chemotherapy in patients with intramedullary glial tumours calls for further trials in this setting, especially in young children and patients with metastases. © 1999 Cancer Research Campaign
chemotherapy; child; intramedullary tumour; spinal cord tumour; glioma; astrocytoma