In this study, we investigated the effects of reduced-dose craniospinal radiotherapy (CSRT) followed by tandem high-dose chemotherapy (HDCT) with autologous stem cell rescue (ASCR) in children with a newly diagnosed high-risk medulloblastoma (MB) or supratentorial primitive neuroectodermal tumor (sPNET).
Between March 2005 and April 2007, patients older than 3 years with a newly diagnosed high-risk MB or sPNET were enrolled. The patients received two cycles of pre-RT chemotherapy consisting of cisplatin, etoposide, vincristine, and cyclophosphamide (cycle A), and carboplatin, etoposide, vincristine, and ifosphamide (cycle B), followed by CSRT with 23.4 Gy and local RT with 30.6 Gy. After four cycles of post-RT chemotherapy (cycles A, B, A, and B), tandem double HDCT with ASCR was performed.
A total of 13 patients (MB=11, sPNET=2) were enrolled. Of these, one patient progressed, one patient died of septic shock after the second cycle of B, and one patient relapsed after the third cycle of B. The 3-year event-free survival (EFS) rate of the patients intended for HDCT was 76.9%, whereas the 3-year EFS rate of the patients who received HDCT was 100%. No treatment-related mortality occurred during HDCT.
Although the follow-up period was short and the patient cohort was small in size, the results of this study are encouraging. The limited toxicity and favorable EFS rate observed in children treated with reduced-dose CSRT followed by HDCT and ASCR warrant further exploration in a larger study population.
Radiotherapy; High-dose chemotherapy; Autologous stem cell transplantation; Medulloblastoma; Supratentorial primitive neuroectodermal tumor; Children
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.
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.
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.
Neuroblastoma; High-dose Chemotherapy; Autologous Stem Cell Rescue; Prognosis; N-myc
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.
Neuroblastoma; High-dose Chemotherapy; Transplantation, Autologous
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.
Myeloablative chemotherapy; autologous bone marrow rescue; recurrent malignant astrocytoma
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.
Metastatic breast neoplasms; High-dose chemotherapy; Cyclophosphamide; Thiotepa; Carboplatin
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.
Breast Neoplasms; Peripheral blood stem cell transplantation; Cyclophosphamide; Thiotepa; Carboplatin; Consolidation
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.
The aim of this study was to evaluate the reliability of the Cockroft and Gault (CG) equation for glomerular filtration rate (GFR) estimation in carboplatin dosing based on the Calvert formula. The records of 117 patients with advanced non-small cell lung carcinoma treated with carboplatin were retrospectively analyzed. Theoretical carboplatin doses derived from the Calvert formula using the CG equation were calculated for each chemotherapy cycle. Fluctuations in the theoretical carboplatin doses were analyzed, and discrepancies between actual carboplatin doses prescribed by the physician and theoretical doses were assessed. It was found that, compared with the first-cycle dose, subsequent theoretical doses were more than 10% higher in 79/320 cycles (24.7%) and more than 10% lower in 53/320 cycles (16.6%; P=0.015). A body mass index greater than or equal to 30 was associated with a tendency for increased CG-estimated GFR during subsequent chemotherapy cycles (P=0.009). Physicians tended to lower the prescribed dose (32.2% of the cycles) by using a higher serum creatinine (Scr) level for dose calculation than was actually measured. We concluded that Calvert formula-derived carboplatin doses fluctuate widely during repeated cycles when actual Scr is used for CG-estimated GFR. The measurement of 24-h creatinine clearance is advised as an alternative in selected patients with reduction in serum creatinine observed during treatments.
Cockroft and Gault; glomerular filtration rate; body mass index; carboplatin; lung cancer
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.
Carboplatin clearance depends on the glomerular filtration rate (GFR), and Calvert's formula is frequently used to achieve a target area under the time vs concentration curve (mg ml(-1) min). Creatinine clearance is a substitute for GFR when creatinine values are determined by the JaffÃ© method, which is being replaced by the enzymatic method. When the enzymatic method is used, the corresponding creatinine clearance theoretically exceeds GFR, and the use of creatinine clearance as GFR in Calvert's formula results, accordingly, in overdosing of carboplatin. In this study, we have established a model for adjusting the creatinine clearance to offset this bias based on a relationship between creatinine values measured by the JaffÃ© method and by the enzymatic method: adjusted creatinine clearance (ml min(-1)) = creatinine clearance (ml min(-1)) x [serum creatinine (mg dl(-1))]/[serum creatinine (mg dl(-1)) + 0.2]. Subsequently, we validated this model using the data from 35 lung cancer patients. Estimated clearances of carboplatin with the original equation [creatinine clearance + 25] were systematically higher than observed clearances [mean prediction error (MPE) +/- standard error (s.e.) = 26 +/- 5%]. This positive bias was corrected by the adjustment (MPE +/- s.e. = 5 +/- 4%). When the enzymatic method is used, the adjusted creatinine clearance should be used in Calvert's formula.
In 29 chemotherapy-naive patients with stage II-III breast cancer, peripheral blood stem cells (PBSCs) were mobilised following fluorouracil 500 mg m-2, epirubicin 90-120 mg m-2 and cyclophosphamide 500 mg m-2 (FEC) and granulocyte colony-stimulating factor (G-CSF; Filgrastim) 300 microgram s.c. daily. In all but one patient, mobilisation was successful, requiring three or fewer leucocytopheresis sessions in 26 patients; 28 patients subsequently underwent high-dose chemotherapy consisting of carboplatin 1600 mg m-2, thiotepa 480 mg m-2 and cyclophosphamide 6 g m-2 (CTC) followed by PBSC transplantation. Haemopoietic engraftment was rapid with a median time to neutrophils of 500 x 10(6) l(-1) of 9 days (range 8-10) in patients who received G-CSF after PBSC-transplantation; platelet transfusion independence was reached within a median of 10 days (range 7-16). Neutropenic fever occurred in 96% of patients. Gastrointestinal toxicity was substantial but reversible. Renal, neural or ototoxicity was not observed. Complications related to the central venous catheter were encountered in 64% of patients, with major vein thrombosis occurring in 18%. High-dose CTC-chemotherapy with PBSC-transplantation, harvested after mobilisation with FEC and G-CSF, is reasonably well tolerated without life-threatening toxicity and is a suitable high-dose strategy for the adjuvant treatment of breast cancer.
We previously reported a phase 2 trial of 69 patients with newly diagnosed anaplastic or aggressive oligodendroglioma who were treated with intensive procarbazine, CCNU (lomustine), and vincristine (PCV) followed by high-dose thiotepa with autologous stem cell rescue. This report summarizes the long-term follow-up of the cohort of 39 patients who received high-dose thiotepa with autologous stem cell support. Thirty-nine patients with a median age of 43 (range, 18–67) and a median KPS of 100 (range, 70–100) were treated. Surviving patients now have a median follow-up of 80.5 months (range, 44–142). The median progression-free survival is 78 months, and median overall survival has not been reached. Eighteen patients (46%) have relapsed. Neither histology nor prior low-grade oligodendroglioma correlated with risk of relapse. Persistent nonenhancing tumor at transplant was identified in our initial report as a significant risk factor for relapse; however, long-term follow-up has not confirmed this finding. Long-term neurotoxicity has developed only in those patients whose disease relapsed and required additional therapy; no patient in continuous remission has developed a delayed neurologic injury. This treatment strategy affords long-term disease control to a subset of patients with newly diagnosed anaplastic oligodendroglioma without evidence of delayed neurotoxicity or myelodysplasia.
anaplastic; chemotherapy; oligodendroglioma
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.
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.
Adult medulloblastoma; Biological equivalent dose; Re-irradiation
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.
brain tumor; busulfan; child; pseudoprogression; radiation therapy
ThioTEPA is a chemotherapeutic agent used in the treatment of cancers, and more recently has been proposed as a component of high-dose therapy for young patients with recurrent malignant brain tumors. We previously demonstrated a significant dose-dependent reduction of cell proliferation in the dentate gyrus of the hippocampus in mice immediately following a 3-day regiment of thioTEPA. The aim of this study was to evaluate the long-term effects of thioTEPA treatment on hippocampal cell proliferation and potential effects on memory deficit or depression-related behavior in C57BL/6J mice.
A 3-day regimen of thioTEPA (10 mg/kg/d, i.p.) yielded a significant reduction in cell proliferation immediately after treatment as assessed by BrdU incorporation, and none of the labeled progeny that initially survived the treatment were detectable one week later. Following a 3-week rebound in proliferation following treatment, a significant deficit in proliferation reappeared and persisted for at least 21 weeks following treatment.
ThioTEPA-treated mice subjected to an object recognition test 1,2,3,4,8,12, 20 or 30 weeks following treatment demonstrated significant memory deficits at 12 and 20 weeks. Mice demonstrated a similar deficit in an object placement test when tested 20 weeks following thioTEPA treatment. However, no observable effects on performance in the Porsolt forced swim test or the tail suspension test were observed in thioTEPA-treated mice.
Together, these studies suggest that cumulative long-term negative effects of thioTEPA treatment on proliferation of new cells in the dentate gyrus may contribute to cognitive impairments associated with its use in the treatment of cancer.
chemotherapy; thioTEPA; dentate; neurogenesis; mice
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.
high-grade gliomas; chemotherapy; carboplatin; etoposide; topoisomerase IIα
The UK Medical Research Council conducted this trial of carboplatin chemotherapy in advanced seminoma to compare single agent carboplatin with a standard combination of etoposide with cisplatin. The use of single agent carboplatin was expected to be associated with reduced toxicity. A total of 130 patients with advanced seminoma were randomly assigned to treatment with either single agent carboplatin (C) at a dose of 400 mg/m2 to be corrected for glomerular filtration rate outside the range 81–120 ml min–1 and to be administered on day 1 of a 21 day cycle to a total of 4 cycles or to etoposide + platinum (EP). The trial was designed as an equivalence study aiming to exclude a reduction in the 3-year progression-free survival in patients allocated to carboplatin of between 10 and 15%, requiring initially a target accrual of 250 patients (90% power significance level 5% (one-sided)). The trial closed after 130 patients had been randomized following recommendation by an independent data monitoring committee. At a median follow-up time of 4.5 years, 81% of patients had been followed up for at least 3 years and 19 patients have died. The estimated PFS rate (95% Confidence Intervals (CI)) at 3 years was 71% (60–82%) in patients allocated C and 81% (71–90%) in those allocated EP; the 95% CI for the difference in 3 year PFS was – 6% to +19%. The hazard ratio of 0.64 (95% CI 0.32–1.28) favoured EP but the difference was not statistically significant (log rank chi-squared = 1.59 P = 0.21). The 3-year survival rate was 84% (75–92%) in those allocated C, and 89% (81–96%) in those allocated EP. The hazard ratio for survival was 0.85 with 95% CI, 0.35–2.10, log rank chi-squared = 0.12, P = 0.73. The trial has not demonstrated statistically significant differences in the major survival endpoints comparing single agent carboplatin with a combination of etoposide + cisplatin. This cannot be taken as an indication of equivalence since the limited size of this trial rendered it unable to exclude a 19% lower progression-free survival and survival in those treated with single agent carboplatin which would be important clinically. Standard initial chemotherapy for advanced seminoma should be based on cisplatin combinations and the role of carboplatin awaits the outcome of further studies. © 2000 Cancer Research Campaign http://www.bjcancer.com
seminoma; germ cell tumour; chemotherapy; cisplatin; carboplatin; randomized control trial
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.
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.
One-third of patients with medulloblastoma die due to recurrence after various treatments including radiotherapy. Although it has been postulated that cancer stem-like cells are radio-resistant and play an important role in tumor recurrence, the “stemness” of medulloblastoma cells surviving irradiation has not yet been elucidated. Using a medulloblastoma cell line ONS-76, cells that survived gamma irradiation were investigated on their “stemness” in vitro. From 10 500 cells, 20 radio-resistant clones were selected after gamma ray irradiation (5 Gy × two fractions) using the replica micro-well technique. These 20 resistant clones were screened for CD133 positivity by flow cytometry followed by side population assay, tumor sphere formation assay and clonogenic survival assay. Results revealed CD133 fractions were significantly elevated in three clones, which also exhibited significantly increased levels of tumor sphere formation ability and side population fraction. Clonogenic survival assay demonstrated that their radio-resistance was significantly higher than the parental ONS-76. This may support the hypothesis that a small number of cancer stem-like cells (CSCs) are the main culprits in local recurrence after radiotherapy, and disruption of the resistance mechanism of these CSCs is a critical future issue in improving the outcome of patients with medulloblastoma.
medulloblastoma; radiation; CD133; cancer stem-like cell
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
toxicity; high-dose chemotherapy; PBSC transplantation; cytoprotection; amifostine; pharmacoeconomics
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.
SCLC; lung cancer; second-line
To compare the combination of paclitaxel and carboplatin (PC) versus other anticancer regimens in previously untreated, small-cell lung cancer (SCLC) patients.
Patients and methods
A total of 763 SCLC patients (ECOG PS =0-2) were enrolled, 476 on arm A (carboplatin AUC 6 mg/mL and paclitaxel 175 mg/m2 i.v every 28 days) and 287 on arm B (3.5 mg/m2 ifosphamide, carboplatin AUC 6 mg/mL, 200 mg/m2 etoposide on days 1 to 3, every 28 days), each regimen for a maximum of eight cycles. Primary end points were overall survival and time to progression and secondary end points were objective response rate and toxicity. The vast majority of responding limited disease (LD) pts and complete responders (CR) with extensive disease (ED) also received prophylactic cranial irradiation (PCI).
Overall survival was 274 days for arm A (95% CI, 250-297) and 295 for arm B (95% CI, 274-315), statistically non significant. Arm A experienced significantly earlier progression in 196 days (95% CI, 179-213) versus 225 days (95% CI, 210-240) in group B (P=0.013, Breslow test). Objective response rate was 50% for limited disease and 21% for extensive disease in arm A and 42% and 32% respectively in arm B. Also patients in group B experienced significantly more toxicity, mainly neutropenia and thrombocytopenia, compared with group A.
There was no statistically significant survival advantage for carboplatin-paclitaxel compared with other than taxanes regimens in SCLC, but there was a better toxicity profile.