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1.  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.
PMCID: PMC2858826  PMID: 20436703
Neuroblastoma; High-dose Chemotherapy; Transplantation, Autologous
2.  Reduced-dose craniospinal radiotherapy followed by high-dose chemotherapy and autologous stem cell rescue for children with newly diagnosed high-risk medulloblastoma or supratentorial primitive neuroectodermal tumor 
The Korean Journal of Hematology  2010;45(2):120-126.
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.
PMCID: PMC2983022  PMID: 21120191
Radiotherapy; High-dose chemotherapy; Autologous stem cell transplantation; Medulloblastoma; Supratentorial primitive neuroectodermal tumor; Children
3.  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.
PMCID: PMC2719186  PMID: 19654949
Neuroblastoma; High-dose Chemotherapy; Autologous Stem Cell Rescue; Prognosis; N-myc
4.  Myeloablative chemotherapy for recurrent aggressive oligodendroglioma. 
Neuro-Oncology  2000;2(2):114-119.
The objective of this study was to ascertain the duration of tumor control and the toxicities of dose-intense myeloablative chemotherapy for patients with recurrent oligodendrogliomas. Patients with previously irradiated oligodendrogliomas, either pure or mixed, that were contrast enhancing, measurable, and behaving aggressively at recurrence were eligible for this study. Only complete responders or major partial responders (75 % reduction in tumor size) to induction chemotherapy--either intensive-dose procarbazine, lomustine, and vincristine or cisplatin plus etoposide-could receive high-dose thiotepa (300 mg/m2/day for 3 days) followed by hematopoietic reconstitution using either bone marrow or peripheral blood stem cells. Thirty-eight patients began induction chemotherapy and 20 (10 men, 10 women; median age 46 years; median Karnofsky score 80) received high-dose thiotepa. For the high-dose group, the median event-free, progression-free, and overall survival times from recurrence were 17, 20, and 49 months, respectively. Tumor control in excess of 2 years was observed in 6 patients (30%). Four patients (20%) are alive and tumor free 27 to 77 months (median, 42 months) from the start of induction therapy; however, fatal treatment-related toxicities also occurred in 4 patients (20%). Three patients died as a result of a progressive encephalopathy which, in 2 instances, was accompanied by a wasting syndrome; 1 patient died as a consequence of an intracerebral (intratumoral) hemorrhage. Fatal toxicities occurred in patients with pretreatment Karnofsky scores of 60 or 70. High-dose thiotepa to consolidate response was a disappointing treatment strategy for patients with recurrent aggressive oligodendroglial neoplasms, although several patients had durable responses. Moreover, as prescribed, high-dose thiotepa had significant toxic effects in previously irradiated patients, especially those with poorer performance status.
PMCID: PMC1919513  PMID: 11303620
5.  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.
PMCID: PMC3087896  PMID: 21559259
6.  Myeloablative Chemotherapy with Autologous Bone Marrow Rescue in Children and Adolescents with Recurrent Malignant Astrocytoma: Outcome Compared with Conventional Chemotherapy: A Report from the Children’s Oncology Group 
Pediatric blood & cancer  2008;51(6):806-811.
Children and adolescents with malignant astrocytomas recurring after initial treatment have a dismal prognosis, with only rare patients surviving one year beyond recurrence. The purpose of this study was to attempt to improve their survival.
Twenty-seven children and adolescents with malignant astrocytomas (17 glioblastoma multiforme and 10 anaplastic astrocytoma) following initial tumor progression, received myeloablative chemotherapy followed by autologous marrow rescue with one of three thiotepa and etoposide-based chemotherapy regimens, administered alone (n=11) or combined with carmustine (n=5) or carboplatin (n=11). Time to progression and death following myeloablative chemotherapy for these patients was compared non-randomly with outcome of a contemporaneously treated cohort of similar patients who received only conventional chemotherapy following initial tumor progression. The two cohorts were compared for age, histology, prior therapies, extent of surgical resection at progression and time from initial diagnosis to progression.
Five of 27 children (two with glioblastoma multiforme and three with anaplastic astrocytoma) survive event-free from 8.3 to 13.3 years (median of 11.1 years) following myeloablative chemotherapy. Of 56 children with recurrent malignant astrocytoma who received conventional chemotherapy following initial progression, no patient survives. Differences in distributions of survival were not significant when stratified by surgical debulking (p=0.39). However, for patients who were surgically debulked, the survival distributions are significantly different (p=0.017).
Myeloablative chemotherapy with autologous marrow rescue can produce durable remissions in children and young adults with recurrent malignant gliomas, in the setting of minimal residual tumor burden achieved surgically.
PMCID: PMC2844080  PMID: 18802947
Myeloablative chemotherapy; autologous bone marrow rescue; recurrent malignant astrocytoma
7.  Optimal chemotherapy treatment for women with recurrent ovarian cancer 
Current Oncology  2007;14(5):195-208.
What is the optimal chemotherapy treatment for women with recurrent ovarian cancer who have previously received platinum-based chemotherapy?
Currently, standard primary therapy for advanced disease involves a combination of maximal cytoreductive surgery and chemotherapy with carboplatin plus paclitaxel or with carboplatin alone. Despite initial high response rates, a large proportion of patients relapse, resulting in a therapeutic challenge. Because these patients are not curable, the goal of therapy becomes improvement in both quality and length of life. The search has therefore been to find active agents for women with recurrent disease following platinum-based chemotherapy.
Outcomes of interest included any combination of tumour response rate, progression-free survival, overall survival, adverse events, and quality of life.
The medline, embase, and Cochrane Library databases were systematically searched for primary articles and practice guidelines. The resulting evidence informed the development of clinical practice recommendations. The systematic review and recommendations were approved by the Report Approval Panel of the Program in Evidence-Based Care, and by the Gynecology Cancer Disease Site Group (dsg). The practice guideline was externally reviewed by a sample of practitioners from Ontario, Canada.
Thirteen randomized trials compared various chemotherapy regimens for patients with recurrent ovarian cancer.
In five of the thirteen trials in which 100% of patients were considered sensitive to platinum-containing chemotherapy, further platinum-based combination chemotherapy significantly improved response rates (two trials), progression-free survival (four trials), and overall survival (three trials) when compared with single-agent chemotherapy involving carboplatin or paclitaxel. Only two of these randomized trials compared the same chemotherapy regimens: carboplatin alone versus the combination of carboplatin and paclitaxel. Both trials were consistent in reporting improved survival outcomes with the combination of carboplatin and paclitaxel. In one trial, the combination of carboplatin and gemcitabine resulted in significantly higher response rates and improved progression-free survival when compared with carboplatin alone. Median survival with carboplatin alone ranged from 17 months to 24 months in four trials.
In eight of the thirteen trials in which 35%–100% of patients had platinum-refractory or -resistant disease, one trial reported a statistically significant 2-month improvement in overall survival with liposomal doxorubicin as compared with topotecan (15 months vs. 13 months, p = 0.038; hazard ratio: 1.23; 95% confidence interval: 1.01 to 1.50). In that trial, because of the limited clinical benefit and the unusual finding that a survival difference emerged only after a year of treatment with no corresponding improvement in the rate of response or of progression-free survival, the authors concluded that further confirmation by results from randomized trials were needed to establish the superiority of one agent over another in their trial. In one trial, topotecan was superior to treosulphan in patient progression-free survival by a span of approximately 2 months (5.4 months vs. 3.0 months, p < 0.001).
Toxicity was reported in all of the randomized trials, and although data on adverse events varied by treatment regimen, the observed adverse events correlated with known toxicity profiles. As expected, combination chemotherapy was associated with higher rates of adverse events.
Practice Guideline
Target Population
This clinical recommendation applies to women with recurrent epithelial ovarian cancer who have previously received platinum-based chemotherapy. Of specific interest are women who have previously shown sensitivity to platinum therapy and those who previously were refractory or resistant to platinum-based chemotherapy. As a general categorization within what is actually a continuum, “platinum sensitivity” refers to disease recurrence 6 months or more after prior platinum-containing chemotherapy, and “platinum resistance” refers to a response to platinum-based chemotherapy followed by relapse less than 6 months after chemotherapy is stopped. “Platinum-refractory disease” refers to a lack of response or to progression while on platinum-based chemotherapy.
Although the body of evidence that informs the clinical recommendations is based on randomized trial data, those data are incomplete. Based on the available data and expert consensus opinion, the Gynecology Cancer dsg makes these recommendations:
Systemic therapy for recurrent ovarian cancer is not curative. It is therefore recognized that each patient must be individually assessed to determine optimal therapy in terms of recurrence, sensitivity to platinum, toxicity, ease of administration, and patient preference. All suitable patients should be offered the opportunity to participate in randomized trials, if available.
In the absence of contraindications, combination platinum-based chemotherapy should be considered for patients with prior sensitivity to platinum-containing chemotherapy. As compared with carboplatin alone, the combination of carboplatin and paclitaxel significantly improved both progression-free and overall survival.
If combination platinum-based chemotherapy is not indicated, then a single platinum agent should be considered. Carboplatin has demonstrated efficacy across trials and has a manageable toxicity profile.
If a single platinum agent is not being considered, then monotherapy with paclitaxel, topotecan, or pegylated liposomal doxorubicin are seen as reasonable treatment options.
Some patients may be repeatedly sensitive to treatment and may benefit from multiple lines of chemotherapy.
For patients with platinum-refractory or platinum-resistant disease, the goals of treatment should be to improve quality of life by extending the symptom-free interval, by reducing symptom intensity, and by increasing progression-free interval, and, if possible, to prolong life.
With non-platinum agents, monotherapy should be considered because no advantage appears to accrue to the use of non-platinum-containing combination chemotherapy in this group of patients. Single-agent paclitaxel, topotecan, or pegylated liposomal doxorubicin have demonstrated activity in this patient population and are reasonable treatment options.
No evidence either supports or refutes the use of more than one line of chemotherapy in patients with platinum-refractory or platinum-resistant recurrence. Many treatment options have shown modest response rates, but their benefits over best supportive care have not been studied in clinical trials.
PMCID: PMC2002482  PMID: 17938703
Chemotherapy; drug therapy; ovarian cancer; ovarian neoplasms; practice guideline; systematic review
8.  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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
PMCID: PMC3578484  PMID: 23258845
autologous stem cell transplantation; high-dose chemotherapy; late effect; medulloblastoma; radiotherapy
9.  High-Dose Chemotherapy of Cyclophosphamide, Thiotepa, and Carboplatin (CTCb) Followed by Autologous Stem-Cell Transplantation for Metastatic Breast Cancer Patients: A 6-Year Follow-Up Result 
The benefit of high-dose chemotherapy (HDC) for metastatic breast cancer (MBC) is controversial. We evaluated the efficacy and safety of HDC with cyclophosphamide, thiotepa, and carboplatin (CTCb) followed by autologous stem-cell transplantation (ASCT) for MBC patients.
Materials and Methods
From September 1994 to December 1999, 23 MBC patients were enrolled. All the patients received 2 to 10 cycles of induction chemotherapy. Before transplantation, 12 patients were in complete response (CR), nine were in partial response (PR), and two had progressive disease (PD). The HDC regimen consisted of cyclophosphamide 1,500 mg/m2/day, thiotepa 125 mg/m2/day and carboplatin 200 mg/m2/day intravenously for 4 consecutive days.
After ASCT, 13 patients (56%) had a CR, five (22%) had a PR, three (13%) had no change, while two (9%) showed a PD. Seventeen patients relapsed or progressed during the median follow-up of 78 months. The median progression-free survival (PFS) time was 11 months and the median overall survival (OS) time was 23 months. The 5-year PFS and OS rates were 22% and 25%, respectively. On the multivariate analyses, less than 4 involved lymph nodes was predictive of a better PFS and OS.
HDC with CTCb for MBC has acceptable toxicity; however, this treatment does not show a survival benefit.
PMCID: PMC2785419  PMID: 19956506
Metastatic breast neoplasms; High-dose chemotherapy; Cyclophosphamide; Thiotepa; Carboplatin
10.  High-Dose Chemotherapy of Cyclophosphamide, Thiotepa and Carboplatin (CTCb) followed by Autologous Stem-Cell Transplantation as a Consolidation for Breast Cancer Patients with 10 or more Positive Lymph Nodes: a 5-Year follow-Up Results 
The benefit of consolidation high-dose chemotherapy (HDC) for high-risk primary breast cancer is controversial. We evaluated the efficacy and safety of consolidation HDC with cyclophosphamide, thiotepa and carboplatin (CTCb) followed by autologous stem-cell transplantation (ASCT) in resected breast cancer patients with 10 or more positive lymph nodes.
Materials and Methods
Between December 1994 and April 2000, 22 patients were enrolled. All patients received 2 to 6 cycles of adjuvant chemotherapy after surgery for breast cancer. The HDC regimen consisted of cyclophosphamide 1,500 mg/m2/day, thiotepa 125 mg/m2/day and carboplatin 200 mg/m2/day intravenous for 4 consecutive days.
With a median follow-up of 58 months, 11 patients recurred and died. The median disease-free survival (DFS) and median overall survival (OS) were 49 and 69 months, respectively. The 5-year DFS and OS rates were 50% and 58%, respectively. The 12 patients with 10 to 18 involved nodes had better 5-year DFS (67%) and OS (75%) than 10 patients with more than 18 involved nodes (30% and 38%, respectively). The most common grade 3 or 4 nonhematologic toxicity was diarrhea, which occurred in 5 patients (23%). No treatment-related death was observed.
Consolidation HDC with CTCb followed by ASCT for resected breast cancer with more than 10 positive nodes had an acceptable toxicity but does not show promising survival.
PMCID: PMC2785413  PMID: 19956494
Breast Neoplasms; Peripheral blood stem cell transplantation; Cyclophosphamide; Thiotepa; Carboplatin; Consolidation
11.  High-dose chemotherapy and autologous bone marrow transplantation for patients with poor prognosis nonseminomatous germ cell tumours. 
British Journal of Cancer  1993;68(3):594-598.
Twenty-one patients with poor prognosis nonseminomatous germ cell tumours (six with extreme burden disease at presentation in whom partial remission had been achieved with initial induction therapy, and 15 with recurrent disease after induction therapy) were treated with high-dose chemotherapy and autologous bone marrow transplantation (BMT). The first six received etoposide 3.0 g m-2, ifosfamide 6.0 g m-2 and carboplatin 1.2 g m-2 (Regimen 1), and the subsequent 15 received etoposide 2.4 g m2 (continuous infusion), cyclophosphamide 7.2 g m-2 and carboplatin 0.8 g m-2 (Regimen 2) followed by infusion of previously stored autologous marrow. Regimen 1 was associated with considerable renal toxicity and mucositis, whereas Regimen 2 was relatively well tolerated. Two patients died as a consequence of the treatment: one of candidemia and one of interstitial pulmonary fibrosis. Only one of 17 patients who were autografted in or approaching marker remission subsequently developed disease progression (event-free survival 82%, 95% confidence interval [CI] 55% to 94%), whereas all four patients who had progressive disease at autografting subsequently developed further disease progression and died. Fourteen patients remain well and free of disease 0.5 to 6.5 years (median 3.3) post-BMT (event-free survival 67%, 95% CI 43% to 83%). A strategy of prompt reinduction followed by high-dose chemotherapy and autologous BMT at the first sign of failure of standard therapy may allow cure to be a realistic expectation.
PMCID: PMC1968411  PMID: 8394733
12.  Iodine-131—Metaiodobenzylguanidine Double Infusion With Autologous Stem-Cell Rescue for Neuroblastoma: A New Approaches to Neuroblastoma Therapy Phase I Study 
Journal of Clinical Oncology  2009;27(7):1020-1025.
Iodine-131—metaiodobenzylguanidine (131I-MIBG) provides targeted radiotherapy with more than 30% response rate in refractory neuroblastoma, but activity infused is limited by radiation safety and hematologic toxicity. The goal was to determine the maximum-tolerated dose of 131I-MIBG in two consecutive infusions at a 2-week interval, supported by autologous stem-cell rescue (ASCR) 2 weeks after the second dose.
Patients and Methods
The 131I-MIBG dose was escalated using a 3 + 3 phase I trial design, with levels calculated by cumulative red marrow radiation index (RMI) from both infusions. Using dosimetry, the second infusion was adjusted to achieve the target RMI, except at level 4, where the second infusion was capped at 21 mCi/kg.
Twenty-one patients were enrolled onto the study at levels 1 to 4, with 18 patients assessable for toxicity and 20 patients assessable for response. Cumulative 131I-MIBG given to achieve the target RMI ranged from 22 to 50 mCi/kg, with cumulative RMI of 3.2 to 8.92 Gy. No patient had a dose-limiting toxicity. Reversible grade 3 nonhematologic toxicity occurred in six patients at level 4, establishing the recommended cumulative dose as 36 mCi/kg. The median time to absolute neutrophil count more than 500/μL after ASCR was 13 days (4 to 27 days) and to platelet independence was 17 days (6 to 47 days). Responses included two partial responses, eight mixed responses, three stable disease, and seven progressive disease. Responses by semiquantitative MIBG score occurred in eight patients, soft tissue responses occurred in five of 11 patients, but bone marrow responses occurred in only two of 13 patients.
The lack of toxicity with this approach allowed dramatic dose intensification of 131I-MIBG, with minimal toxicity and promising activity.
PMCID: PMC2738616  PMID: 19171714
13.  The role of second-line chemotherapy in small cell lung cancer: a retrospective analysis 
OncoTargets and therapy  2013;6:1493-1500.
To evaluate the benefit of second-line chemotherapy with platinum-based treatment in patients with recurrent small cell lung cancer (SCLC).
Patients and methods
A total of 535 patients continued with follow-up or best supportive care if needed, and 229 patients who progressed after the completion of first-line chemotherapy were treated with second-line chemotherapy at the time of progression. In total, 103/229 patients received paclitaxel 190 mg/m2 and carboplatin 5.5 area under the curve while 126/229 patients received etoposide 200 mg/m2 and carboplatin 5.5 area under the curve every 28 days.
Patients administered second-line chemotherapy lived significantly longer, with a median survival of 422 days compared to 228 days in patients with best supportive care alone (P<0.001). Patients who received paclitaxel as second-line chemotherapy lived for an average of 462 days (95% confidence interval: 409–514), versus 405 days in the etoposide group (95% confidence interval: 371–438), which was not statistically significant (P=0.086). The overall response rate was 8% for the paclitaxel group and 6% for the etoposide group. Patients with progression of the disease in more than 3 months had significantly better survival compared with those that progressed in less than 3 months (P<0.001).
Continuation with carboplatin/paclitaxel or carboplatin/etoposide as second-line chemotherapy has no significant survival impact, and it did not improve response rates.
PMCID: PMC3808208  PMID: 24174880
SCLC; lung cancer; second-line
14.  Pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics of carboplatin administered in a high-dose combination regimen with thiotepa, cyclophosphamide and peripheral stem cell support. 
British Journal of Cancer  1996;73(8):979-984.
The aim of this pharmacokinetic/pharmacodynamic study was to define the relationships of the carboplatin exposure with the toxicity in patients treated with high dose carboplatin (400 mg m-2 day-1), cyclophosphamide (1500 mg m-2 day-1) and thiotepa (120 mg m-2 day-1) for four consecutive days, followed by peripheral stem cell transplantation. Exposure to carboplatin was studied in 200 treatment days by measuring the area under the carboplatin plasma ultrafiltrate (pUF) concentration vs time curve (AUC). The AUC was obtained by using a previously validated limited sampling model. A total of 31 patients was studied who received one, two or three courses of this high-dose chemotherapy regimen. The unbound, plasma ultrafiltrate carboplatin was almost completely cleared from the body before each next treatment day in a course; the day-to-day AUC variation was 3.3%. The mean cumulative AUC over 4 days was 19.6 (range 14.1-27.2) mg ml-1 min-1. In 97 treatment days the carboplatin dose was calculated using the Calvert formula with the creatinine clearance as the measure for the glomerular filtration rate (GFR). For these courses, the inter-patient variability in pharmacokinetics was significantly reduced from 21% to 15% (P = 0.007) in comparison with the schemes where it was given as a fixed dose of 400 mg m-2. There were no relationships found between toxicity and the AUC of carboplatin, which may be due to the influence of overlapping toxicities of cyclophosphamide and thiotepa. However, the ototoxicity was strongly related to the cumulative carboplatin AUC. This toxicity was dose limiting for carboplatin in this schedule. It appeared that the carboplatin pharmacokinetics in these regimens were similar to those reported at conventional dosages. To reduce the inter-patient variation, the carboplatin dose can be calculated using the Calvert-formula with the creatinine clearance as the measure for the GFR.
PMCID: PMC2075820  PMID: 8611435
15.  Sequential chemotherapy, high-dose thiotepa, circulating progenitor cell rescue, and radiotherapy for childhood high-grade glioma 
Neuro-Oncology  2005;7(1):41-48.
Childhood malignant gliomas are rare, but their clinical behavior is almost as aggressive as in adults, with resistance to therapy, rapid progression, and not uncommonly, dissemination. Our study protocol incorporated sequential chemotherapy and high-dose thiotepa in the preradiant phase, followed by focal radiotherapy and maintenance with vincristine and lomustine for a total duration of one year. The induction treatment consisted of two courses of cisplatin (30 mg/m2) plus etoposide (150 mg/m2) × 3 days and of vincristine (1.4 mg/m2) plus cyclophosphamide (1.5 g/m2) plus high-dose methotrexate (8 g/m2), followed by high-dose thiotepa (300 mg/m2 × 3 doses), with harvesting of peripheral blood progenitor cells after the first cisplatin/etoposide course. From August 1996 to March 2003, 21 children, 14 females and 7 males, with a median age of 10 years were enrolled, 18 presenting with residual disease after surgery. Histologies were glioblastoma multiforme in 10, anaplastic astrocytoma in nine, and anaplastic oligodendroglioma in two; sites of origin were supratentorial areas in 17, spine in two, and posterior fossa in two. Of the 21 patients, 12 have died (10 after relapse, with a median time to progression for the whole series of 14 months; one with intratumoral bleeding at 40 months after diagnosis; and one affected by Turcot syndrome for duodenal cancer relapse). Four of 12 relapsed children had tumor dissemination. At a median follow-up of 57 months, overall survival and progression-free survival at four years were 43% and 46%, respectively. Sequential and high-dose chemotherapy can be afforded in front-line therapy of childhood malignant glioma without excessive morbidity and rather encouraging results.
PMCID: PMC1871624  PMID: 15701281
16.  Retreatment of recurrent adult medulloblastoma with radiotherapy: a case report and review of the literature 
Medulloblastoma, the most frequent brain tumor in childhood, also occurs with a wide range of characteristics in adult patients. Late relapse is common in adult medulloblastoma, and the overall survival of relapsed patients usually ranges from 12 to 15 months. Treatment at recurrence is still debated and after reoperation includes stereotactic or normofractionated radiotherapy, and high-dose chemotherapy with autologous bone marrow transplantation.
Case presentation
We report on the case of a 31-year-old Caucasian woman who underwent re-irradiation for a recurrence of medulloblastoma at nine years after first irradiation (56Gy), focusing on the radiobiological background and a review of previous studies involving re-irradiation of recurrent medulloblastoma. After surgical excision of the relapsed tumor and medical multi-agent treatment, the site of recurrence was treated using three-dimensional conformal radiotherapy to a total dose of 52.8Gy (1.2Gy/fraction/twice daily). A total biological equivalent dose of 224.6Gy (α:β = 2 Gy) was delivered to the posterior fossa (first and second treatments). No radionecrosis or local recurrence was evident at 18 months after re-irradiation.
Re-irradiation can be considered a possible and safe treatment in selected cases of recurrent medulloblastoma in adults. The reported radiobiological considerations could be useful in other cases involving re-irradiation of brain tumors.
PMCID: PMC3599802  PMID: 23497715
Adult medulloblastoma; Biological equivalent dose; Re-irradiation
17.  Outcome and prognostic factors of desmoplastic medulloblastoma treated within a multidisciplinary treatment concept 
BMC Cancer  2010;10:450.
Desmoplasia in medulloblastoma is often diagnosed in adult patients and was repeatedly associated with improved results. Today, all medulloblastoma patients receive intensive multimodal treatment including surgery, radiotherapy and chemotherapy. This study was set up to investigate treatment outcome and prognostic factors after radiation therapy in patients with desmoplastic medulloblastomas.
Twenty patients treated for desmoplastic medulloblastoma in the Department of Radiation Oncology at the University of Heidelberg between 1984 and 2007 were included. Data were collected retrospectively. Tumor resection was performed in all patients. All patients underwent postsurgical radiotherapy (RT). Two patients underwent whole brain radiotherapy (WBRT), and 18 patients received craniospinal irradiation (CSI). In all patients, an additional boost was delivered to the posterior fossa. The median dose to the whole brain and the craniospinal axis was 35.2 Gray (Gy), and 54.4 Gy to the posterior fossa. Fourteen patients received chemotherapy, including seven who were treated with combined radiochemotherapy and twelve who received adjuvant chemotherapy. Statistical analysis was performed using the log-rank test and the Kaplan-Meier method.
Median follow-up was 59 months. Overall (OS), local (LPFS) and distant progression-free survival (DPFS) was 80%, 71.2%, and 83.3% at 60 months. Patients who suffered from local or distant relapses had significantly worse outcome. Five patients died from recurrent medulloblastoma. Treatment-associated toxicity was acceptable.
Multimodal approaches with surgical resection followed by chemoirradiation achieved high response rates with long OS in desmoplastic medulloblastoma patients. Staging parameters expected to predict for poor prognosis did not significantly influence outcome. However, success of any first line regimen had strong impact on disease control, and remission was achieved in no patient with relapsing disease. Multimodal concepts must be evaluated in further clinical trials.
PMCID: PMC2939548  PMID: 20731859
18.  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
19.  Phase II trial of carboplatin and etoposide for patients with recurrent high-grade glioma 
British Journal of Cancer  2004;91(6):1038-1044.
We present the results of a phase II trial of carboplatin and etoposide (CE) combination as first-line chemotherapy in patients with recurrent glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) and anaplastic astrocytoma (AA) after surgery and radiotherapy. We assess the activity and the tolerability of this combination. 30 patients with GBM (25) and AA (5) were treated with VP-16 (etoposide) 120 mg m−2 and CBCDA (carboplatin) 100 mg m−2 for 3 days every 4 weeks. Moreover, we performed a retrospective analysis of topoisomerase IIα gene status using chromogenic in situ hybridisation. The median age was 54 years (21–73 years); Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group performance score was 0-1 in 25 patients and 2 in five patients. All patients had been previously treated with surgical resection (21 radical resections) followed by radiation therapy (40–60 Gy). We observed six (20%) complete responses, three (10%) partial responses and 12 (40%) stable diseases, with a response rate of 30%. The median time to progression was 4 months, while progression-free survival at 6 months was 33.3%. The median survival time was 10 months. Neutropenia occurred in 9 patients: four patients had grade 4, two patients grade 3 and three patients grade 2. In the conclusion of this clinical trial, the CE combination has shown activity in recurrent GBM and AA, with a good toxicity profile. Alterations in the copy number of topoisomerase IIα gene seem to be a rare event and in our series do not influence response to the CE combination.
PMCID: PMC2747702  PMID: 15305187
high-grade gliomas; chemotherapy; carboplatin; etoposide; topoisomerase IIα
20.  Consolidative high-dose chemotherapy after conventional-dose chemotherapy as first salvage treatment for male patients with metastatic germ cell tumours 
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.
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.
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.
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.
PMCID: PMC3328550  PMID: 22511417
21.  Phase II study of induction cisplatin and irinotecan followed by concurrent carboplatin, etoposide, and thoracic radiotherapy for limited stage small cell lung cancer: CALGB 30206 
We sought to determine the efficacy of using both irinotecan- and etoposide-containing regimens sequentially for patients with untreated limited stage small cell lung cancer (LS-SCLC).
Patients with untreated, measurable LS-SCLC, performance status 0–2, and adequate organ function were eligible. Treatment consisted of induction with cisplatin 30 mg/m2 and irinotecan 65 mg/m2 intravenously on day 1 and 8 every 21 days for two cycles. Beginning day 43, daily chest irradiation to 70 Gy was administered concurrently with carboplatin AUC 5 day 1 and etoposide 100 mg/m2 days 1 to 3 every 21 days for 3 cycles. The primary objective was to differentiate between 45% and 60% 2-year survival.
Two induction cycles were delivered to 72 of 75 (96%) eligible patients and all planned treatment was delivered to 59 patients (79%). Cisplatin and irinotecan induction chemotherapy resulted in complete responses in 7% and partial responses 64% (response rate 71%; 95% CI 59–81%). The best response to all therapy included 88% complete or partial responses (95% CI for 78–94%). With median follow-up of 57 months, the median progression-free survival and overall survival are 12.6 (95% CI 9.4–14.7) and 18.1 months (15.8–22.9), respectively. The 1- and 2-year survival was 69% and 31%, respectively. Frequent (>20%) grade 3 and 4 toxicities were neutropenia 84%, hemoglobin 36%, platelets 51%, esophagitis (22%) and dehydration in 24%. There were no fatal toxicities.
This treatment regimen of irinotecan-cisplatin induction chemotherapy followed by 70 Gy concurrent radiation and etoposide-carboplatin has tolerable toxicity but did not meet the pre-planned 2-year survival target for further development.
PMCID: PMC3524334  PMID: 23196276
small cell lung cancer; chemotherapy; radiotherapy; topoisomerase inhibitor
22.  Re-irradiation with stereotactic body radiation therapy as a novel treatment option for isolated local recurrence of pancreatic cancer after multimodality therapy: experience from two institutions 
Limited treatment options exist for isolated local recurrence of pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDA) following surgical resection accompanied by neoadjuvant or adjuvant chemoradiation therapy (CRT). While select patients are eligible for re-resection, recurrent lesions are often unresectable. Stereotactic body radiation therapy (SBRT) represents a possible minimally invasive treatment option for these patients, although published data in this setting are currently lacking. This study examines the safety, efficacy, and palliative capacity of re-irradiation with SBRT for isolated local PDA recurrence.
All patients undergoing SBRT at two academic centers from 2008-2012 were retrospectively reviewed to identify those who received re-irradiation with SBRT for isolated local recurrence or progression of PDA after previous conventionally fractionated CRT. Information regarding demographics, clinicopathologic characteristics, therapies received, survival, symptom palliation, and toxicity was obtained from patient charts. Kaplan-Meier statistics were used to analyze survival and the log-rank test was used to compare survival among patient subgroups.
Eighteen patients were identified. Fifteen had previously undergone resection with neoadjuvant or adjuvant CRT, while 3 received definitive CRT for locally advanced disease. Median CRT dose was 50.4 Gy [interquartile range (IQR), 45.0-50.4 Gy] in 28 fractions. All patients subsequently received gemcitabine-based maintenance chemotherapy, but developed isolated local disease recurrence or progression without evidence of distant metastasis. Locally recurrent or progressive disease was treated with SBRT to a median dose of 25.0 Gy (range, 20.0-27.0 Gy) in 5 fractions. Median survival from SBRT was 8.8 months (95% CI, 1.2-16.4 months). Despite having similar clinicopathologic disease characteristics, patients who experienced local progression greater than vs. less than 9 months after surgery/definitive CRT demonstrated superior median survival (11.3 vs. 3.4 months; P=0.019) and progression-free survival (10.6 vs. 3.2 months; P=0.030) after SBRT. Rates of freedom from local progression at 6 and 12 months after SBRT were 78% (14 of 18 patients) and 62% (5 of 8 patients), respectively. Effective symptom palliation was achieved in 4 of 7 patients (57%) who reported symptoms of abdominal or back pain prior to SBRT. Five patients (28%) experienced grade 2 acute toxicity; none experienced grade ≥3 acute toxicity. One patient (6%) experienced grade 3 late toxicity in the form of small bowel obstruction.
In conclusion, re-irradiation with hypofractionated SBRT in this salvage scenario appears to be a safe and reasonable option for palliation of isolated local PDA recurrence or progression following previous conventional CRT. Patients with a progression-free interval of greater than 9 months prior to isolated local recurrence or progression may be most suitable for re-irradiation with SBRT, as they appear to have a better prognosis with survival that is long enough for local control to be of potential benefit.
PMCID: PMC3819776  PMID: 24294505
Stereotactic body radiation therapy (SBRT); pancreatic cancer; local recurrence; re-irradiation
23.  High-dose chemotherapy supported by peripheral blood progenitor cells in poor prognosis metastatic breast cancer--phase I/II study. Edinburgh Breast Group. 
British Journal of Cancer  1996;74(12):2013-2017.
Current treatments for metastatic breast cancer are not associated with significant survival benefits despite response rates of over 50%. High-dose therapy with autologous bone marrow transplantation (ABMT) has been investigated, particularly in North America, and prolonged survival in up to 25% of women has been reported, but with a significant treatment-related mortality. However, in patients with haematological malignancies undergoing autologous transplantation, haematopoietic reconstruction is significantly quicker and mortality lower than with ABMT, when peripheral blood progenitor cells (PBPCs) are used. In 32 women with metastatic breast cancer, we investigated the feasibility of PBPC mobilisation with high-dose cyclophosphamide and granulocyte colony-stimulating factor (G-CSF) after 12 weeks' infusional induction chemotherapy and the subsequent efficacy of the haematopoietic reconstitution after conditioning with melphalan and either etoposide or thiotepa. PBPC mobilisation was successful in 28/32 (88%) patients, and there was a rapid post-transplantation haematopoietic recovery: median time to neutrophils > 0.5 x 10(9) l-1 was 14 days and to platelets > 20 x 10(9) l-1 was 10 days. There was no procedure-related mortality, and the major morbidity was mucositis (WHO grade 3-4) in 18/32 patients (56%). In a patient group of which the majority had very poor prognostic features, the median survival from start of induction chemotherapy was 15 months. Thus, PBPC mobilisation and support of high-dose chemotherapy is feasible after infusional induction chemotherapy for patients with metastatic breast cancer, although the optimum drug combination has not yet been determined.
PMCID: PMC2074804  PMID: 8980406
24.  Pseudoprogression after high-dose busulfan-thiotepa with autologous stem cell transplantation and radiation therapy in children with brain tumors: Impact on survival 
Neuro-Oncology  2012;14(11):1413-1421.
Children with a brain tumor treated with high-dose busulfan-thiotepa with autologous stem cell transplantation (ASCT) and radiation therapy (RT) often experience radiographic changes during follow-up. The purpose of the study was to identify the incidence, time course, risk factors, and clinical outcome of this complication. From May 1988 through May 2007, 110 patients (median age, 3.6 years; range, 1 month to 15.3 years) with a brain tumor had received 1 course of high-dose busulfan-thiotepa with stem cell rescue, followed or preceded by RT as part of their treatment. All MRI follow-up examinations were systematically reviewed. Twenty-three patients (21%) developed neuroradiological abnormalities at a median time of 9.2 months (range, 5.6–17.3 months) after ASCT. All contrast-enhancing lesions appeared in patients who had received RT after ASCT and were localized inside the 50–55Gy isodoses. They disappeared in 14 of 23 patients after a median time of 8 months (range, 3–17 months), leaving microcalcifications in some cases. The presence of MRI abnormalities was an independent prognostic factor for overall survival in the multivariate analysis (hazard ratio, 0.12; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.04–0.33), with a 5-year overall survival rate of 84% among patients with MRI abnormalities (95% CI, 62–94), compared with 27% (95% CI, 19–37) among those without lesions. MRI-detectable pseudoprogression is a common early finding in children treated with high-dose busulfan-thiotepa followed by radiation therapy and is correlated with a better outcome.
PMCID: PMC3480264  PMID: 23042716
brain tumor; busulfan; child; pseudoprogression; radiation therapy
25.  High Dose Thiotepa in Patients with Relapsed or Refractory Osteosarcomas: Experience of the SFCE Group 
Sarcoma  2014;2014:475067.
Introduction. Osteosarcoma relapse has a poor prognosis, with less than 25% survival at 5 years. We describe the experience of the French Society of Paediatric Oncology (SFCE) with high dose (HD) thiotepa and autologous stem cell transplantation (ASCT) in 45 children with relapsed osteosarcoma. Patients and Methods. Between 1992 and 2004, 53 patients received HD thiotepa (900 mg/m2) followed by ASCT in 6 centres. Eight patients were excluded from analysis, and we retrospectively reviewed the clinical radiological and anatomopathological patterns of the 45 remaining patients. Results. Sixteen girls and 29 boys (median age, 15.9 years) received HD thiotepa after initial progression of metastatic disease (2), first relapse (26), and second or third relapse (17). We report 12 radiological partial responses and 9 of 31 histological complete responses. Thirty-two patients experienced further relapses, and 13 continued in complete remission after surgical resection of the residual disease. Three-year overall survival was 40%, and 3-year progression-free survival was 24%. Delay of relapse (+/− 2 years from diagnosis) was a prognostic factor (P = 0.011). No acute toxic serious adverse event occurred. Conclusion. The use of HD thiotepa and ASCT is feasible in patients with relapsed osteosarcoma. A randomized study for recurrent osteosarcoma between standard salvage chemotherapy and high dose thiotepa with stem cell rescue is ongoing.
PMCID: PMC3941142  PMID: 24672280

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