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1.  Reduced-dose craniospinal radiotherapy followed by tandem high-dose chemotherapy and autologous stem cell transplantation in patients with high-risk medulloblastoma 
Neuro-Oncology  2012;15(3):352-359.
Background
We assessed the feasibility and effectiveness of reduced-dose craniospinal (CS) radiotherapy (RT) followed by tandem high-dose chemotherapy and autologous stem cell transplantation (HDCT/autoSCT) in reducing late adverse effects without jeopardizing survival among children with high-risk medulloblastoma (MB).
Methods
From October 2005 through September 2010, twenty consecutive children aged >3 years with high-risk MB (presence of metastasis and/or postoperative residual tumor >1.5 cm2) were assigned to receive 2 cycles of pre-RT chemotherapy, CSRT (23.4 or 30.6 Gy) combined with local RT to the primary site (total 54.0 Gy), and 4 cycles of post-RT chemotherapy followed by tandem HDCT/autoSCT. Carboplatin-thiotepa-etoposide and cyclophosphamide-melphalan regimens were used for the first and second HDCT, respectively.
Results
Of 20 patients with high-risk MB, 17 had metastatic disease and 3 had a postoperative residual tumor >1.5 cm2 without metastasis. The tumor relapsed/progressed in 4 patients, and 2 patients died of toxicities during the second HDCT/autoSCT. Therefore, 14 patients remained event-free at a median follow-up of 46 months (range, 23−82) from diagnosis. The probability of 5-year event-free survival was 70.0% ± 10.3% for all patients and 70.6% ± 11.1% for patients with metastases. Late adverse effects evaluated at a median of 36 months (range, 12−68) after tandem HDCT/autoSCT were acceptable.
Conclusions
In children with high-risk MB, CSRT dose might be reduced when accompanied by tandem HDCT/autoSCT without jeopardizing survival. However, longer follow-up is needed to evaluate whether the benefits of reduced-dose CSRT outweigh the long-term risks of tandem HDCT/autoSCT.
doi:10.1093/neuonc/nos304
PMCID: PMC3578484  PMID: 23258845
autologous stem cell transplantation; high-dose chemotherapy; late effect; medulloblastoma; radiotherapy
2.  Treatment of young children with CNS-primitive neuroectodermal tumors/pineoblastomas in the prospective multicenter trial HIT 2000 using different chemotherapy regimens and radiotherapy 
Neuro-Oncology  2012;15(2):224-234.
Background
Especially in young children, primitive neuroectodermal tumors of the central nervous system (CNS-PNET) and pineoblastomas are associated with an unfavorable outcome, and only a few prospective trials have been conducted thus far.
Methods
From January 2001 through January 2005, 17 eligible children aged <4 years with CNS-PNET not otherwise specified (n = 8), ependymoblastoma (n = 1), or pineoblastoma (n = 8) confirmed by central review were prospectively treated in the trial HIT 2000. In nonmetastatic disease (n = 11), up to 5 postoperative cycles of HIT-SKK systemic multiagent chemotherapy (8 months duration), followed by craniospinal radiotherapy (CSI), were given. In metastatic disease (M1-M3, n = 6), treatment consisted of a shorter induction chemotherapy (2–3 months) with carboplatin and etoposide, followed by tandem high-dose chemotherapy (HDCT) in case of good response to induction. During induction and HDCT, patients received intraventricular methotrexate. CSI was applied to all patients with poor response to induction or residual disease after HDCT and was optional for patients with residual disease before HDCT.
Results
Five-year event-free survival and overall survival rates ± standard error for all eligible patients were 24% ± 10% and 40% ± 12%, respectively (median follow-up of survivors: 8.3 years). Only one patient with nonmetastatic disease remained free of relapse/progressive disease during induction. Three of 6 patients with metastatic disease responded to induction and received tandem-HDCT, followed by preventive CSI, and remain in continuous complete remission.
Conclusions
Short intensive induction chemotherapy followed by tandem-HDCT in young children with CNS-PNET/pineoblastomas seems to be superior to the prolonged and less intensive induction regimen.
doi:10.1093/neuonc/nos292
PMCID: PMC3548584  PMID: 23223339
brain tumors, chemotherapy; pineoblastoma; primitive neuroectodermal tumor (PNET); radiotherapy; young children
3.  Efficacy of Tandem High-Dose Chemotherapy and Autologous Stem Cell Rescue in Patients Over 1 Year of Age with Stage 4 Neuroblastoma: The Korean Society of Pediatric Hematology-Oncology Experience Over 6 Years (2000-2005) 
Journal of Korean Medical Science  2010;25(5):691-697.
The efficacy of tandem high-dose chemotherapy and autologous stem cell rescue (HDCT/ASCR) was investigated in patients with high-risk neuroblastoma. Patients over 1 yr of age who were newly diagnosed with stage 4 neuroblastoma from January 2000 to December 2005 were enrolled in The Korean Society of Pediatric Hematology-Oncology registry. All patients who were assigned to receive HDCT/ASCR at diagnosis were retrospectively analyzed to investigate the efficacy of single or tandem HDCT/ASCR. Seventy and 71 patients were assigned to receive single or tandem HDCT/ASCR at diagnosis. Fifty-seven and 59 patients in the single or tandem HDCT group underwent single or tandem HDCT/ASCR as scheduled. Twenty-four and 38 patients in the single or tandem HDCT group remained event free with a median follow-up of 56 (24-88) months. When the survival rate was analyzed according to intent-to-treat at diagnosis, the probability of the 5-yr event-free survival±95% confidence intervals was higher in the tandem HDCT group than in the single HDCT group (51.2±12.4% vs. 31.3±11.5%, P=0.030). The results of the present study demonstrate that the tandem HDCT/ASCR strategy is significantly better than the single HDCT/ASCR strategy for improved survival in the treatment of high-risk neuroblastoma patients.
doi:10.3346/jkms.2010.25.5.691
PMCID: PMC2858826  PMID: 20436703
Neuroblastoma; High-dose Chemotherapy; Transplantation, Autologous
4.  High-dose Chemotherapy and Autologous Stem Cell Rescue in Patients with High-risk Stage 3 Neuroblastoma: 10-Year Experience at a Single Center 
Journal of Korean Medical Science  2009;24(4):660-667.
High-dose chemotherapy and autologous stem cell rescue (HDCT/ASCR) was applied to improve the prognosis of patients with high-risk stage 3 neuroblastoma. From January 1997 to December 2006, 28 patients were newly diagnosed as stage 3 neuroblastoma. Nine of 11 patients with N-myc amplification and 5 of 17 patients without N-myc amplification (poor response in 2 patients, persistent residual tumor in 2 and relapse in 1) underwent single or tandem HDCT/ASCR. Patients without high-risk features received conventional treatment modalities only. While 8 of 9 patients underwent single HDCT/ASCR and the remaining one patient underwent tandem HDCT/ASCR during the early study period, all 5 patients underwent tandem HDCT/ASCR during the late period. Toxicities associated with HDCT/ASCR were tolerable and there was no treatment-related mortality. While the tumor relapsed in two of eight patients in single HDCT/ASCR group, all six patients in tandem HDCT/ASCR group remained relapse free. The 5-yr event-free survival (EFS) from diagnosis, in patients with N-myc amplification, was 71.6±14.0%. In addition, 12 of 14 patients who underwent HDCT/ASCR remained event free resulting in an 85.1±9.7% 5-yr EFS after the first HDCT/ASCR. The present study demonstrates that HDCT/ASCR may improve the survival of patients with high-risk stage 3 neuroblastoma.
doi:10.3346/jkms.2009.24.4.660
PMCID: PMC2719186  PMID: 19654949
Neuroblastoma; High-dose Chemotherapy; Autologous Stem Cell Rescue; Prognosis; N-myc
5.  A pilot study of risk-adapted radiotherapy and chemotherapy in patients with supratentorial PNET 
Neuro-Oncology  2009;11(1):33-40.
We undertook this study to estimate the event-free survival (EFS) of patients with newly diagnosed supratentorial primitive neuroectodermal tumor (SPNET) treated with risk-adapted craniospinal irradiation (CSI) with additional radiation to the primary tumor site and subsequent high-dose chemotherapy supported by stem cell rescue. Between 1996 and 2003, 16 patients with SPNET were enrolled. High-risk (HR) disease was differentiated from average-risk (AR) disease by the presence of residual tumor (M0 and tumor size > 1.5 cm2) or disseminated disease in the neuraxis (M1–M3). Patients received risk-adapted CSI: those with AR disease received 23.4 Gy; those with HR disease, 36–39.6 Gy. The tumor bed received a total of 55.8 Gy. Subsequently, all patients received four cycles of high-dose cyclophosphamide, cisplatin, and vincristine with stem cell support. The median age at diagnosis was 7.9 years; eight patients were female. Seven patients had pineal PNET. Twelve patients are alive at a median follow-up of 5.4 years. The 5-year EFS and overall survival (OS) estimates for all patients were 68% ± 14% and 73% ± 13%. The 5-year EFS and OS estimates were 75% ± 17% and 88% ± 13%, respectively, for the eight patients with AR disease and 60% ± 19% and 58% ± 19%, respectively, for the eight with HR disease. No deaths were due to toxicity. High-dose cyclophosphamide-based chemotherapy with stem cell support after risk-adapted CSI results in excellent EFS estimates for patients with newly diagnosed AR SPNET. Further, this chemotherapy allows for a reduction in the dose of CSI used to treat AR SPNET without compromising EFS.
doi:10.1215/15228517-2008-079
PMCID: PMC2718957  PMID: 18796696
autologous stem cell rescue; craniospinal radiotherapy; dose-intensive chemotherapy; event-free survival; risk-adapted therapy; supratentorial PNET
6.  Tandem High-Dose Chemotherapy and Autologous Stem Cell Transplantation in Young Children with Atypical Teratoid/Rhabdoid Tumor of the Central Nervous System 
Journal of Korean Medical Science  2012;27(2):135-140.
The feasibility and effectiveness of tandem high-dose chemotherapy and autologous stem cell transplantation (HDCT/autoSCT) were evaluated in children younger than 3 yr of age with atypical teratoid/rhabdoid tumors (ATRT). Tandem HDCT/autoSCT was administered following six cycles of induction chemotherapy. Radiotherapy (RT) was administered if the tumor relapsed or progressed, otherwise, it was administered after 3 yr of age. Tumors relapsed or progressed during induction chemotherapy in 5 of 9 patients enrolled; 3 of these 5 received tandem HDCT/autoSCT as a salvage treatment. One patient died from sepsis during induction chemotherapy. The remaining 3 patients proceeded to tandem HDCT/autoSCT; however, 2 of these patients showed tumor relapse/progression after tandem HDCT/autoSCT. All 7 relapses/progressions occurred at primary sites even in patients with leptomeningeal seeding. Toxicities during tandem HDCT/autoSCT were manageable. A total of 5 patients were alive with a median follow-up of 20 (range 16-70) months from diagnosis. Four of 5 patients who received RT after relapse/progression are alive. The probability of overall survival at 3 yr from diagnosis was 53.3% ± 17.3%. Our tandem HDCT/autoSCT is feasible; however, early administration of RT prior to tandem HDCT/autoSCT should be considered to improve the outcome after tandem HDCT/autoSCT.
doi:10.3346/jkms.2012.27.2.135
PMCID: PMC3271285  PMID: 22323859
Rhabdoid Tumor; Central Nervous System; Drug Therapy; Stem Cell Transplantation; Radiotherapy; Child
7.  A Phase II Study (CCG 9931) of Pre-Radiotherapy Chemotherapy Followed by Hyperfractionated Radiotherapy for Newly Diagnosed High Risk Medulloblastoma/PNET: A Report from the Children’s Oncology Group 
Purpose
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.
Results
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.
Conclusions
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.
doi:10.1016/j.ijrobp.2008.09.019
PMCID: PMC2739055  PMID: 19356859
PNET; Medulloblastoma; High risk; Hyperfractionated radiotherapy; Pre-radiation chemotherapy
8.  Treatment outcomes and late toxicities in patients with embryonal central nervous system tumors 
Background
Standard treatment strategies for embryonal central nervous system (CNS) tumors have not yet been established. We treated these tumors using an original chemoradiation therapy protocol; the clinical outcomes and toxicities were retrospectively evaluated.
Methods
Twenty-four patients were enrolled including sixteen with medulloblastoma, four with supratentorial primitive neuroectodermal tumor (sPNET), three with atypical teratoid/rhabdoid tumor, and one with pineoblastoma. Immediately after diagnosis, all patients underwent surgery initially. They were then categorized as high- or average-risk groups independent of tumor type/pathogenesis. The average-risk group included patients who were aged ≥3 years at diagnosis, had non-metastatic disease at diagnosis (M0), and had undergone gross total resection. Other patients were categorized as the high-risk group; this group received more intensive treatment than the average-risk group, including high-dose chemotherapy with autologous stem-cell transplantation. All patients received craniospinal irradiation (CSI). The CSI dose was 23.4 Gy for M0 patients aged ≥5 years, 18 Gy for M0 patients aged <5 years, and 30–36 Gy for all patients with M + disease. The total dose to the primary tumor bed was 54 Gy.
Results
The median follow-up time was 73.5 (range, 19–118) months. The 5-year progression-free survival (PFS) and overall survival (OS) rates were 71.1 and 88.9%, respectively in the average-risk group (n = 9) and 66.7 and 71.1%, respectively in the high-risk group (n = 15). The PFS and OS rates were not significantly different between the average- and high-risk groups. In patients with medulloblastoma only, these rates were also not significantly different between the average- and high-risk groups. Three of four patients with sPNET were disease free. The height standard deviation score (SDS) was significantly decreased at the last assessment relative to that at diagnosis (P < 0.0001). The latest median height SDS was -1.6 (range, 0.9 to -4.8), and the latest median full-scale intelligence quotient (FSIQ) score was 86 (range, 59–128). The CSI doses and age at the start of radiation therapy did not influence clinical outcomes, height SDSs, and FSIQ scores.
Conclusions
Our original protocol for patients with embryonal CNS tumors was feasible and yielded favorable clinical outcomes.
doi:10.1186/1748-717X-9-201
PMCID: PMC4261562  PMID: 25209395
Embryonal central nervous system tumors; Medulloblastoma; Supratentorial primitive neuroectodermal tumor; Atypical teratoid/rhabdoid tumor; Pineoblastoma; Growth height; Hypothyroidism; Ototoxicity; Cognitive function
9.  Efficacy of High-dose Chemotherapy and Autologous Stem Cell Transplantation in Patients with Relapsed Medulloblastoma: A Report on The Korean Society for Pediatric Neuro-Oncology (KSPNO)-S-053 Study 
Journal of Korean Medical Science  2010;25(8):1160-1166.
The efficacy and toxicity of high-dose chemotherapy and autologous stem cell transplantation (HDCT/ASCT) were investigated for improving the outcomes of patients with relapsed medulloblastoma. A total of 15 patients with relapsed medulloblastoma were enrolled in the KSPNO-S-053 study from May 2005 to May 2007. All patients received approximately 4 cycles of salvage chemotherapy after relapse. Thirteen underwent HDCT/ASCT; CTE and CM regimen were employed for the first HDCT (HDCT1) and second HDCT (HDCT2), respectively, and 7 underwent HDCT2. One transplant related mortality (TRM) due to veno-occlusive disease (VOD) occurred during HDCT1 but HDCT2 was tolerable with no further TRM. The 3-yr overall survival probability and event-free survival rates ±95% confidence intervals (CI) were 33.3±12.2% and 26.7% ±11.4%, respectively. When analysis was confined to only patients who had a complete response (CR) or partial response (PR) prior to HDCT, the probability of 3-yr overall survival rates ±95% CI was 40.0±15.5%. No patients with stable disease (SD) or progressive disease (PD) survived. Survival rates from protocol KSPNO-S-053 are encouraging and show that tumor status prior to HDCT/ASCT is an important factor to consider for improving survival rates of patients with relapsed medulloblastoma.
doi:10.3346/jkms.2010.25.8.1160
PMCID: PMC2908784  PMID: 20676326
Recurrence; Medulloblastoma; Transplantation, Autologous; Tandem; Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation
10.  Consolidative high-dose chemotherapy after conventional-dose chemotherapy as first salvage treatment for male patients with metastatic germ cell tumours 
Introduction:
Some men with metastatic germ cell tumours that have progressed after response to initial cisplatin-based combination chemotherapy are cured with conventional dose first salvage chemotherapy (CDCT) – however, many are not. High-dose chemotherapy with autologous stem cell rescue (HDCT) may be of value in these patients. Prognosis has recently been better defined by International Prognostic Factor Study Group (IPFSG) prognostic factors. HDCT after response to CDCT has been offered at our institution over the past two decades. We retrospectively assessed the validity of the IPFSG prognostic factors in our patients and evaluated the value of HDCT.
Methods:
We identified eligible men with metastatic germ cell tumour progressed after at least 3 cycles of cisplatin-based chemotherapy and treated with cisplatin-based CDCT alone or with carboplatin-based HDCT. We also collected their clinical data. Patients were classified into risk groups using IPFSG factors, and progression-free and overall survival factors were analyzed and compared in patients treated with CDCT alone and with HDCT.
Results:
We identified 38 eligible first salvage patients who had received a median of 4 cycles (range, 1 to 7 cycles) of CDCT. Twenty patients received CDCT alone and 18 patients received CDCT plus HDCT. The overall median progression- free survival was 24.6 months (95%CI, 7.3 to 28.7 months) and overall median overall survival was 34.6 months (95%CI, 17.2 to 51.3 months). Distribution by IPFSG category and 2-year progression- free survival and 3-year overall survival rates within each risk category were very similar to the IPFSG results. There were two toxic deaths with CDCT and none with HDCT. Overall, patients treated with CDCT plus HDCT had improved progression- free survival and overall survival.
Conclusions:
The IPFSG prognostic risk factors appeared valid in our patient population. The safety of HDCT with etoposide and carboplatin was confirmed. HDCT was associated with improved progression- free survival and overall survival outcomes, consistent with observations of the IPFSG group. Ideally, the value of optimal HDCT should be determined in comparison to optimal CDCT as first salvage therapy in men with metastatic germ cell tumour with a randomized trial.
doi:10.5489/cuaj.11233
PMCID: PMC3328550  PMID: 22511417
11.  High-Dose Chemotherapy with Autologous Hematopoietic Stem-Cell Rescue for Pediatric Brain Tumor Patients: A Single Institution Experience from UCLA 
Journal of Transplantation  2011;2011:740673.
Background. Dose-dependent response makes certain pediatric brain tumors appropriate targets for high-dose chemotherapy with autologous hematopoietic stem-cell rescue (HDCT-AHSCR). Methods. The clinical outcomes and toxicities were analyzed retrospectively for 18 consecutive patients ≤19 y/o treated with HDCT-AHSCR at UCLA (1999–2009). Results. Patients' median age was 2.3 years. Fourteen had primary and 4 recurrent tumors: 12 neural/embryonal (7 medulloblastomas, 4 primitive neuroectodermal tumors, and a pineoblastoma), 3 glial/mixed, and 3 germ cell tumors. Eight patients had initial gross-total and seven subtotal resections. HDCT mostly consisted of carboplatin and/or thiotepa ± etoposide (n = 16). Nine patients underwent a single AHSCR and nine ≥3 tandems. Three-year progression-free and overall survival probabilities were 60.5% ± 16 and 69.3% ± 11.5. Ten patients with pre-AHSCR complete remissions were alive/disease-free, whereas 5 of 8 with measurable disease were deceased (median followup: 2.3 yrs). Nine of 13 survivors avoided radiation. Single AHSCR regimens had greater toxicity than ≥3 AHSCR (P < .01). Conclusion. HDCT-AHSCR has a definitive, though limited role for selected pediatric brain tumors with poor prognosis and pretransplant complete/partial remissions.
doi:10.1155/2011/740673
PMCID: PMC3087896  PMID: 21559259
12.  Iron Overload during Follow-up after Tandem High-Dose Chemotherapy and Autologous Stem Cell Transplantation in Patients with High-Risk Neuroblastoma 
Journal of Korean Medical Science  2012;27(4):363-369.
Multiple RBC transfusions inevitably lead to a state of iron overload before and after high-dose chemotherapy and autologous stem cell transplantation (HDCT/autoSCT). Nonetheless, iron status during post-SCT follow-up remains unknown. Therefore, we investigated post-SCT ferritin levels, factors contributing to its sustained levels, and organ functions affected by iron overload in 49 children with high-risk neuroblastoma who underwent tandem HDCT/autoSCT. Although serum ferritin levels gradually decreased during post-SCT follow-up, 47.7% of the patients maintained ferritin levels above 1,000 ng/mL at 1 yr after the second HDCT/autoSCT. These patients had higher serum creatinine (0.62 vs 0.47 mg/mL, P = 0.007) than their counterparts (< 1,000 ng/mL). Post-SCT transfusion amount corresponded to increased ferritin levels at 1 yr after the second HDCT/autoSCT (P < 0.001). A lower CD34+ cell count was associated with a greater need of RBC transfusion, which in turn led to a higher serum ferritin level at 1 yr after HDCT/autoSCT. The number of CD34+ cells transplanted was an independent factor for ferritin levels at 1 yr after the second HDCT/autoSCT (P = 0.019). Consequently, CD34+ cells should be transplanted as many as possible to prevent the sustained iron overload after tandem HDCT/autoSCT and consequent adverse effects.
doi:10.3346/jkms.2012.27.4.363
PMCID: PMC3314847  PMID: 22468098
High-Dose Chemotherapy; Autologous Stem Cell Transplantation; Iron Overload; Deferasirox; Iron Chelation Treatment; Neuroblastoma
13.  High-dose chemotherapy and stem cell transplantation for advanced testicular cancer 
Expert Review of Anticancer Therapy  2011;11(7):1091-1103.
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.
doi:10.1586/era.10.231
PMCID: PMC3253700  PMID: 21806332
chemotherapy; germ cell tumors; high-dose chemotherapy; stem cell transplantation; testicular cancer
14.  Adult medulloblastoma: multiagent chemotherapy. 
Neuro-Oncology  2001;3(1):29-34.
In this study, the records of 17 adult patients with medulloblastoma treated with craniospinal radiation and 1 of 2 multiagent chemotherapy protocols were reviewed for progression-free survival, overall survival, and toxicity, and the patients were compared with each other and with similarly treated children and adults. Records of patients treated at 3 institutions were reviewed. Seventeen medulloblastoma patients (11 female, 6 male) with a median age of 23 years (range, 18-47 years) were treated with surgery, craniospinal radiation (CSRT) plus local boost, and 1 of 2 adjuvant chemotherapy regimens. All tumors were infratentorial (10 in 4th ventricle and 7 in left or right hemisphere). Ten patients presented with hydrocephalus, and 7 of them were shunted. Eight patients had gross total resection, 7 had subtotal resection (>50% removed), and 2 had partial resection (<50% removed). Postoperatively, 3 patients had positive cytology and 3 had positive spinal MRI. Five patients were classified as good risk and 12 were classified as poor risk (Chang staging system). Ten patients were treated with the "Packer protocol," consisting of CSRT plus weekly vincristine followed by 8 cycles of cisplatin, lomustine, and vincristine. Seven patients were treated with the Pediatric Oncology Group (POG) protocol, consisting of alternating courses of cisplatin/etoposide and cyclophosphamide/vincristine, followed by CSRT. Eight of 17 patients relapsed, with all 8 relapsing at the primary site. Other relapse sites included the leptomeninges (5), bone (1), and brain (1). The estimated median relapse-free survival (Kaplan-Meier) for all patients was 48 months (95% confidence interval, >26 months to infinity). Median relapse-free survival for patients on the Packer protocol was 26 months, and for those on the POG regimen was 48 months (P = 0.410). Five of 10 on the Packer protocol were relapse-free, while 4 of 7 were relapse-free on the POG regimen. Two patients relapsed during chemotherapy and 6 relapsed after completing all therapy at 18, 18, 26, 30, 40, and 48 months. The estimated median survival of all patients was 56 months (95% confidence interval, 27 to infinity) with 11 patients alive; for the Packer protocol, median survival was 36 months, and for the POG protocol, it was 57 months (P = 0.058). The hazard ratio was 0 (95% confidence interval, 0 to infinity). Toxicity during the Packer protocol was moderately severe, with only 1 of 10 patients able to complete all therapy. Two patients had severe abdominal pain during CSRT + vincristine, and 5 had peripheral neuropathy during vincristine therapy. Hearing loss (>20 dB) occurred in 7, neutropenia (<500 microl) in 6, thrombocytopenia (<50,000 microl) in 6, nephrotoxicity (>25% decrease by creatinine clearance) in 2, and decreased pulmonary function (diffusing capacity for carbon monoxide decrease >40%) in 1. On the POG protocol, only 1 patient had persistent nausea and vomiting, 2 had peripheral neuropathy, and 3 had hearing deficit (>20 dB) or tinnitus. The POG and Packer protocols did not have a statistically significant difference in relapse-free or overall survival because of the small sample size. The POG protocol seemed to have less nonhematologic toxicity. Adults on the Packer protocol appeared to have shorter median survival and greater toxicity than did children. To know whether adding adjuvant chemotherapy to craniospinal radiation in adult therapy increases relapse-free and overall survival, we must await the results of a larger randomized controlled clinical trial.
PMCID: PMC1920599  PMID: 11305414
15.  Hematologic Recovery after Tandem High-Dose Chemotherapy and Autologous Stem Cell Transplantation in Children with High-Risk Solid Tumors 
Journal of Korean Medical Science  2013;28(2):220-226.
Although the number of studies using tandem high-dose chemotherapy and autologous stem cell transplantation (HDCT/autoSCT) for the treatment of high-risk pediatric solid tumors has been increasing, documentation of hematologic recovery after tandem HDCT/autoSCT is very limited. For this reason, we retrospectively analyzed the hematologic recovery of 236 children with high-risk solid tumors who underwent tandem HDCT/autoSCT. The median numbers of CD34+ cells transplanted during the first and second HDCT/autoSCT were 4.3 × 106/kg (range 0.6-220.2) and 4.1 × 106/kg (range 0.9-157.6), respectively (P = 0.664). While there was no difference in neutrophil recovery between the first and second HDCT/autoSCT, platelet and RBC recoveries were significantly delayed in the second HDCT/autoSCT (P < 0.001 and P < 0.001, respectively). Delayed recovery in the second HDCT/autoSCT was more prominent when the number of transplanted CD34+ cells was lower, especially if it was < 2 × 106/kg. A lower CD34+ cell count was also associated with increased RBC transfusion requirements and a higher serum ferritin level after tandem HDCT/autoSCT. More CD34+ cells need to be transplanted during the second HDCT/autoSCT in order to achieve the same hematologic recovery as the first HDCT/autoSCT.
doi:10.3346/jkms.2013.28.2.220
PMCID: PMC3565133  PMID: 23400387
High-Dose Chemotherapy; Autologous Stem Cell Transplantation; CD34+ Cells; Hematologic Recovery; Iron Overload
16.  Increased p53 immunopositivity in anaplastic medulloblastoma and supratentorial PNET is not caused by JC virus 
BMC Cancer  2005;5:19.
Background
p53 mutations are relatively uncommon in medulloblastoma, but abnormalities in this cell cycle pathway have been associated with anaplasia and worse clinical outcomes. We correlated p53 protein expression with pathological subtype and clinical outcome in 75 embryonal brain tumors. The presence of JC virus, which results in p53 protein accumulation, was also examined.
Methods
p53 protein levels were evaluated semi-quantitatively in 64 medulloblastomas, 3 atypical teratoid rhabdoid tumors (ATRT), and 8 supratentorial primitive neuroectodermal tumors (sPNET) using immunohistochemistry. JC viral sequences were analyzed in DNA extracted from 33 frozen medulloblastoma and PNET samples using quantitative polymerase chain reaction.
Results
p53 expression was detected in 18% of non-anaplastic medulloblastomas, 45% of anaplastic medulloblastomas, 67% of ATRT, and 88% of sPNET. The increased p53 immunoreactivity in anaplastic medulloblastoma, ATRT, and sPNET was statistically significant. Log rank analysis of clinical outcome revealed significantly shorter survival in patients with p53 immunopositive embryonal tumors. No JC virus was identified in the embryonal brain tumor samples, while an endogenous human retrovirus (ERV-3) was readily detected.
Conclusion
Immunoreactivity for p53 protein is more common in anaplastic medulloblastomas, ATRT and sPNET than in non-anaplastic tumors, and is associated with worse clinical outcomes. However, JC virus infection is not responsible for increased levels of p53 protein.
doi:10.1186/1471-2407-5-19
PMCID: PMC554768  PMID: 15717928
17.  Therapeutic Difficulty in a Case of Supratentorial Primitive Neuroectodermal Tumor Diagnosed during Pregnancy 
We report a supratentorial primitive neuroectodermal tumor (sPNET) in 17-year-old primipara in the second trimester her pregnancy. Magnetic resonance imaging revealed a left frontoparietal mass with solid and cystic component. Gross-total resection was achieved via a left frontoparietal craniotomy. It was decided to suspend the radiotherapy and chemotherapy until the 30 weeks of gestation. But, a sudden uncal herniation was developed due to the reccurrence of the tumor and bleeding into the tumor at the 25 weeks of gestation and the patient died after urgent decompressive surgery. sPNETs is an extremely rare brain tumor in pregnancy and only two cases were reported in the literature to date. There is no universally agreed treatment protocol for sPNETs during pregnancy and a multidisciplinary approach is required in treatment. In the present study, the clinical, histopathological features and therapeutical difficulties of sPNETs diagnosed during pregnancy was discussed with the literature review.
doi:10.3340/jkns.2009.45.1.39
PMCID: PMC2640822  PMID: 19242570
Multidisciplinary treatment; Pregnancy; Supratentorial primitive neuroectodermal tumor
18.  Alterations in p53 predict response to preoperative high dose chemotherapy in patients with gastric cancer 
Molecular Pathology  2003;56(5):286-292.
Aims: To evaluate the usefulness of molecular markers in predicting histopathological and clinical response to preoperative high dose chemotherapy (HDCT) and survival of patients with advanced gastric cancer.
Methods: In a phase II trial, 25 patients with metastatic gastric cancer received preoperative tandem HDCT consisting of etoposide, cisplatin, and mitomycin, followed by autologous bone marrow transplantation to achieve surgical resectability. Samples before and after treatment, from normal and tumour tissue, were characterised histopathologically, and both p53 and BAX expression was analysed by immunohistochemistry. Pretreatment formalin fixed, paraffin wax embedded samples from normal and tumour tissue were microdissected, and the extracted DNA was preamplified using improved primer extension preamplification polymerase chain reaction. Detection of microsatellite instability (MSI) or loss of heterozygosity (LOH) was performed using markers for p53, BAX, BAT25, BAT26, D2S123, D17S250, and APC. Exons 5–9 of the p53 gene were sequenced directly on ABI 373.
Results: Four parameters were significantly associated with response to chemotherapy and prolonged overall survival: positive p53 immunostaining, positive p53 mutation status before chemotherapy, strong histological regression induced by preoperative HDCT, and surgical treatment. Patients’s sex or age, tumour location or stage, lymph node status, Lauren classification, MSI, or LOH did not influence duration of survival significantly in this high risk population.
Conclusion: Positive p53 immunostaining and p53 mutation status in pretreatment tumour biopsies might be useful molecular predictors of response and prognosis in patients with advanced gastric cancer treated by preoperative HDCT.
PMCID: PMC1187340  PMID: 14514923
gastric cancer; preoperative high dose chemotherapy; molecular parameters; histological regression; p53
19.  Atypical teratoid rhabdoid tumor: improved long-term survival with an intensive multimodal therapy and delayed radiotherapy. The Medical University of Vienna Experience 1992–2012 
Cancer Medicine  2013;3(1):91-100.
Atypical teratoid rhabdoid tumors (ATRTs) are recently defined highly aggressive embryonal central nervous system tumors with a poor prognosis and no definitive guidelines for treatment. We report on the importance of an initial correct diagnosis and disease-specific therapy on outcome in 22 consecutive patients and propose a new treatment strategy. From 1992 to 2012, nine patients initially diagnosed correctly as ATRT (cohort A, median age 24 months) were treated according to an intensive multimodal regimen (MUV-ATRT) consisting of three 9-week courses of a dose-dense regimen including doxorubicin, cyclophosphamide, vincristine, ifosfamide, cisplatin, etoposide, and methotrexate augmented with intrathecal therapy, followed by high-dose chemotherapy (HDCT) and completed with local radiotherapy. Thirteen patients were treated differently (cohort B, median age 30 months) most of whom according to protocols in use for their respective diagnoses. As of July 2013, 5-year overall survival (OS) and event-free survival (EFS) for all 22 consecutive patients was 56.3 ± 11.3% and 52.9 ± 11.0%, respectively. For MUV-ATRT regimen-treated patients (cohort A) 5-year OS was 100% and EFS was 88.9 ± 10.5%. For patients treated differently (cohort B) 5-year OS and EFS were 28.8 ± 13.1%. All nine MUV-ATRT regimen-treated patients are alive for a median of 76 months (range: 16–197), eight in first complete remission. Our results compare favorably to previously published data. The drug combination and sequence used in the proposed MUV-ATRT regimen appear to be efficacious in preventing early relapses also in young children with M1–M3 stage disease allowing postponement of radiotherapy until after HDCT.
doi:10.1002/cam4.161
PMCID: PMC3930393  PMID: 24402832
ATRT; delayed local radiotherapy; high-dose chemotherapy; improved survival; multimodal therapy
20.  Double high-dose chemotherapy with autologous stem cell transplantation in patients with high-risk neuroblastoma: a pilot study in a single center. 
Journal of Korean Medical Science  2002;17(4):537-543.
Double high-dose chemotherapy (HDCT) was applied to 18 patients with highrisk neuroblastoma including 14 patients who could not achieve complete response (CR) even after the first HDCT. In 12 patients, successive double HDCT was rescued with peripheral blood stem cells collected during a single round of leukaphereses and in 6 patients, second or more rounds of leukaphereses were necessary after the first HDCT to rescue the second HDCT. The median interval between the first and second HDCT (76 days; range, 47-112) in the single harvest group was shorter than that (274.5 days; range, 83-329) in the double harvest group (p<0.01). Hematologic recovery was slow in the second HDCT. Six (33.3%) treatment-related mortalities (TRM) occurred during the second HDCT but were not related to the shorter interval. Disease-free survival rates at 2 years with a median follow-up of 24 months (range, 6-46) in the single and double harvest group were 57.1% and 33.3%, respectively. These results suggest that successive double HDCT using the single harvest approach may improve the survival of high-risk patients, especially who could not achieve CR after the first HDCT despite delayed hematologic recovery and high rate of TRM during the second HDCT.
PMCID: PMC3054907  PMID: 12172052
21.  Telomere maintenance in childhood primitive neuroectodermal brain tumors1 
Neuro-Oncology  2004;6(1):1-8.
Primitive neuroectodermal tumors (PNETs), including medulloblastoma (PNET/MB) and supratentorial PNET (sPNET), are the most common malignant brain tumors of childhood. The stabilization of telomere lengths by telomerase activation is an important step in carcinogenesis and cell immortalization. Epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), the major polyphenol in green tea, is a telomerase inhibitor with antiproliferative and anticarcinogenic effects against different types of cancer. In this study, we used real-time reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction to measure the mRNA expression of the human telomerase reverse transcriptase (hTERT) in 50 primary PNET samples (43 PNET/MB, 7 sPNET), 14 normal human brain samples, and 6 human PNET cell lines. Compared to normal human cerebellum, 38/50 (76%) primary PNET samples had ≥5-fold upregulated hTERT mRNA expression. We then examined PNET cell lines for telomerase activity using a quantitative telomeric repeat amplification protocol (TRAP), and for telomere length using terminal restriction fragment analysis. While a positive correlation between hTERT mRNA expression and telomerase activity was detected in PNET cell lines, no correlation was found between telomerase activity and telomere length. Treatment of PNET cell lines with EGCG resulted in a dose-dependent inhibition of telomerase activity at micromolar levels. Although EGCG displayed strong proliferation inhibitory effects against TRAP-positive PNET cell lines, it had no significant effect against TRAP-negative D425 cells. These results provide evidence for a possible role of telomerase in the pathogenesis of most PNETs and indicate that subsets of PNETs maintain telomere length by alternative mechanisms. Inhibition of telomerase function represents a novel experimental therapeutic strategy in childhood PNETs that warrants further investigation.
doi:10.1215/S1152851703000176
PMCID: PMC1871965  PMID: 14769133
22.  High-dose chemotherapy and autologous peripheral blood stem cell transplantation in the treatment of children and adolescents with Ewing sarcoma family of tumors 
Korean Journal of Pediatrics  2013;56(9):401-406.
Purpose
We performed a pilot study to determine the benefit of high-dose chemotherapy and autologous peripheral blood stem cell transplantation (HDCT/autoPBSCT) for patients with Ewing sarcoma family of tumors.
Methods
We retrospectively analyzed the data of patients who received HDCT/autoPBSCT at Korea Cancer Center Hospital. Patients with relapsed, metastatic, or centrally located tumors were eligible for the study.
Results
A total of 9 patients (3 male, 6 female), with a median age at HDCT/autoPBSCT of 13.4 years (range, 7.1 to 28.2 years), were included in this study. Patients underwent conventional chemotherapy and local control either by surgery or radiation therapy, and had achieved complete response (CR, n=7), partial response (n=1), or stable disease (n=1) prior to HDCT/autoPBSCT. There was no transplant-related mortality. However, the median duration of overall survival and event-free survival after HDCT/autoPBSCT were 13.3 months (range, 5.3 to 44.5 months) and 6.2 months (range, 2.1 to 44.5 months), respectively. At present, 4 patients are alive and 5 patients who experienced adverse events (2 metastasis, 2 local recur, and 1 progressive disease) survived for a median time of 2.8 months (range, 0.1 to 10.7 months). The 2-year survival after HDCT/autoPBSCT was 44.4%±16.6% and disease status at the time of HDCT/autoPBSCT tended to influence survival (57.1%±18.7% of cases with CR vs. 0% of cases with non-CR, P=0.07).
Conclusion
Disease status at HDCT/autoPBSCT tended to influence survival. Further studies are necessary to define the role of HDCT/autoPBSCT and to identify subgroup of patients who might benefit from this investigational treatment.
doi:10.3345/kjp.2013.56.9.401
PMCID: PMC3819677  PMID: 24223602
Ewing sarcoma; High-dose chemotherapy; Stem cell transplantation
23.  Clinical characteristics and treatment outcomes of children with anaplastic large cell lymphoma: a single center experience 
Blood research  2014;49(4):246-252.
Background
Anaplastic large cell lymphoma (ALCL) is uncommon in children, accounting for approximately 15% of all cases of childhood non-Hodgkin lymphoma. Despite many studies attempting new treatment strategies, treatment outcomes have not significantly improved, and the optimal treatment for pediatric ALCL has not been established.
Methods
The records of newly diagnosed ALCL patients at our institute between July 1998 and April 2013 were reviewed. We evaluated the general characteristics of the patients, chemotherapy regimens, overall survival (OS) rates, and event-free survival (EFS) rates.
Results
Twenty-eight ALCL patients were eligible. The median age at diagnosis was 10.8 years. Lymph node involvement was the most common presentation (79%). CCG-5941, a multi-agent T-cell lineage chemotherapy, was the predominant treatment regimen (57%). The five-year OS and EFS rates were 88% and 69%, respectively. Stage, the presence of B symptoms, lung involvement, and bone marrow involvement were significant prognostic factors for EFS (P=0.02, 0.01, 0.01, and 0.02, respectively). Eight patients relapsed, and three died during the study period. Four of the eight patients who relapsed were treated with high-dose chemotherapy and autologous stem cell transplantation (HDCT-ASCT). Two of the four who had undergone HDCT-ASCT developed secondary relapses and were subsequently treated with allogeneic SCT or brentuximab.
Conclusion
We found that treatment outcomes with multi-agent chemotherapy in children with ALCL were similar to those of previous reports, and that relapsed patients could be salvaged with HDCT-ASCT or allogeneic SCT. A prospective, larger cohort study is warranted to define the optimal treatment for pediatric ALCL.
doi:10.5045/br.2014.49.4.246
PMCID: PMC4278006  PMID: 25548758
Anaplastic large cell lymphoma; Childhood; Prognosis; Relpase
24.  High-Dose Chemotherapy Followed by Autologous Stem Cell Transplantation as a First-Line Therapy for High-Risk Primary Breast Cancer: A Meta-Analysis 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(3):e33388.
Background and Objectives
Several trials have generated conflicting results about the results of high-dose chemotherapy followed by autologous stem cell transplantation (HDCT) for primary breast cancer. This meta-analysis summarizes the available evidence from all suitable studies.
Design and Methods
Prospective, randomized trials with HDCT as a first-line therapy for primary breast cancer were included in this meta-analysis. The primary outcome of interest for our analysis was survival (disease-free survival and overall survival); secondary endpoints included treatment-related mortality (TRM) and second (non-breast) cancers. We used a median age of 47, a PR positive rate of 50% and a premenopausal rate of 70% as cutoff values to complete the subgroup analyses, which were pre-planned according to the prepared protocol.
Results
Fourteen trials with 5747 patients were eligible for the meta-analysis. Compared with non-HDCT, non-significant second (non-breast) cancers (RR = 1.28; 95% CI = 0.82–1.98) and higher TRM (RR = 3.42; 95% CI = 1.32–8.86) were associated with HDCT for primary breast cancer. A significant DFS benefit of HDCT was documented (HR = 0.89; 95% CI = 0.79–0.99). No difference in OS (overall survival) was found when the studies were pooled (HR = 0.91; 95% CI = 0.82–1.00, p = 0.062). In subgroup analysis, age and hormone receptor status had a significant interaction with prolonged DFS and OS.
Conclusions
HDCT has a benefit on DFS and OS compared to SDC in some special patients with high-risk primary breast cancer.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0033388
PMCID: PMC3299795  PMID: 22428041
25.  A randomized trial of amifostine in patients with high-dose VIC chemotherapy plus autologous blood stem cell transplanation 
British Journal of Cancer  2001;84(3):313-320.
This pilot study evaluates the degree of side effects during high-dose chemotherapy (HD-VIC) plus autologous bone marrow transplant (HDCT) and its possible prevention by the cytoprotective thiol-derivate amifostine. Additionally, the in-patient medical costs of both treatment arms were compared. 40 patients with solid tumours were randomized to receive HD-VIC chemotherapy with or without amifostine (910 mg/m2 at day 1–3) given as a short infusion prior to carboplatin and ifosfamide. Patients were stratified according to pretreatment. HDCT consisted of an 18 h infusion of carboplatin (500 mg/m2/d over 18 h), ifosfamide (4 g/m2/d over 4 h) and etoposide (500 mg/m2/d) all given for 3 consecutive days. All patients received prophylactic application of G-CSF (5 μg kg−1 subcutaneously) to ameliorate neutropenia after treatment. Patients were monitored for nephrotoxicity, gastrointestinal side effects, haematopoietic recovery, as well as frequency of fever and infections. The median fall of the glomerular filtration rate (GFR) was 10% from baseline in the amifostine group (105 to 95 ml min−1) and 37% in the control patient group (107 to 67 ml min−1) (P< 0.01). Amifostine-treated patients revealed a less pronounced increase in albumine and low molecular weight protein urinary excretion. Stomatitis grade III/IV occurred in 25% without versus 0% of patients with amifostine (P = 0.01). Acute nausea/vomiting was frequently observed immediately during or after the application of amifostine despite intensive antiemetic prophylaxis consisting of 5-HT3-receptor antagonists/dexamethasone/trifluorpromazine. However, delayed emesis occurred more often in the control patients. Engraftment of neutrophil (> 500 μl−1) and thrombocytes (> 25 000 μl−1)were observed at days 9 versus 10 and 10 versus 12, respectively, both slightly in favour of the amifostine arm. In addition, a lower number of days with fever and a shortened duration of hospital stay were observed in the amifostine arm. The reduction of acute toxicity observed in the amifostine arm resulted in 30% savings in costs for supportive care (Euro 4396 versus Euro 3153 per patient). Taking into account the drug costs of amifostine, calculation of in-patient treatment costs from the start of chemotherapy to discharge revealed additional costs of Euro 540 per patient in the amifostine arm. This randomized pilot study indicates that both organ and haematotoxicity of HD-VIC chemotherapy can be ameliorated by the use of amifostine. Additionally, a nearly complete preservation of GFR was observed in amifostine-treated patients which may be advantageous if repetitive cycles of HDCT are planned. Larger randomized trials evaluating amifostine cytoprotection during high-dose chemotherapy are warranted. © 2001 Cancer Research Campaign http://www.bjcancer.com
doi:10.1054/bjoc.2000.1611
PMCID: PMC2363753  PMID: 11161394
toxicity; high-dose chemotherapy; PBSC transplantation; cytoprotection; amifostine; pharmacoeconomics

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