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1.  Incidence and prognostic value of tumour cells detected by RT–PCR in peripheral blood stem cell collections from patients with Ewing tumour 
British Journal of Cancer  2006;95(10):1326-1333.
To retrospectively evaluate the incidence of tumour cell contamination of peripheral blood stem cell (PBSC) collections and to correlate these data with the clinical outcome after high-dose chemotherapy (HDCT) with stem cell rescue in patients with a high-risk Ewing tumour. Peripheral blood stem cell collections obtained from 171 patients were analysed. Tumour contamination was assessed by reverse transcriptase–polymerase chain reaction (RT–PCR). The files of 88 patients who underwent HDCT followed by PBSC reinfusion were reviewed in detail, and their outcome compared to the PBSC RT–PCR results. Seven of 88 PBSC collections (8%) contained tumour cells as detected by RT–PCR. Peripheral blood stem cells were collected after a median of five cycles of chemotherapy. No clinical factor predictive of tumour cell contamination of PBSC harvest could be identified. Event-free survival (EFS) and overall survival (OS) of the whole study population were 45.3 % and 51.8 % at 3 years from the date of the graft, respectively. Forty-five patients relapsed with a median time of 15 months after graft, only four of whom had tumour cell contamination of the PBSC harvest. Tumour cell contamination of PBSC collection is rare and does not seem to be associated with a significantly poorer EFS or OS in this high-risk population.
PMCID: PMC2360590  PMID: 17088915
ewing tumour; PBSC; tumour cell contamination; RT–PCR; outcome
2.  Adverse outcome of infants with metastatic neuroblastoma, MYCN amplification and/or bone lesions: results of the French Society of Pediatric Oncology 
British Journal of Cancer  2000;83(8):973-979.
To assess the relevance of MYCN amplification and bone lesions in stage 4 neuroblastoma (NB) in infants aged <1 year, 51 infants with stage 4 NB were enrolled. Three groups of patients were defined according to the type of metastases and the resectability of the primary tumour. Group I comprised 21 infants with radiologically detectable bone lesions, Group II 22 patients with an unresectable primary tumour and Group III eight patients with only metaiodobenzylguanidine (MIBG) skeletal uptake. MYCN oncogene content was assayed in 47/51 tumours and found to be amplified in 17 (37%). The 5-year event-free survival (EFS) rate of these 51 infants was 64.1% (± 7.1%). In a univariate analysis, bone lesions, MYCN amplification, urinary vanillylmandelic/homovanillic acid ratio and serum ferritin levels adversely influenced outcome. In the multivariate analysis, radiologically detectable bone lesions were the most powerful unfavourable prognostic indicator: the EFS rate was 27.2% for these infants compared to 90% for infants without bone lesions (P < 0.0001). Our data emphasize the poor prognosis of infants affected by stage 4 NB with bone lesions, especially when associated with MYCN amplification. Given the poor results in this group whatever the treatment, new therapeutic approaches need to be investigated in the future. © 2000 Cancer Research Campaign
PMCID: PMC2363565  PMID: 10993641
neuroblastoma; infants; metastasis; MYCN; bone lesions
3.  Improving survival in recurrent medulloblastoma: earlier detection, better treatment or still an impasse? 
British Journal of Cancer  1998;77(8):1321-1326.
Early detection of relapse has been advocated to improve survival in children with recurrent medulloblastoma. However, the prognostic factors and the longer term outcome of these patients remains unclear. Pattern of recurrences were analysed in three consecutive protocols of the Société Française d'Oncologie Pédiatrique (1985-91). A uniform surveillance programme including repeated lumbar puncture combined with computerized tomography (CT) or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan was applied for all registered patients. Forty-six out of 116 patients had progressive or recurrent disease. The median time from diagnosis to recurrence was 10.5 months and 76% relapses occurred during the first 2 years. Seventeen patients had asymptomatic relapses that were detected by the surveillance protocol. Forty-one patients were treated at time of progression. Twenty-three responded to salvage therapy and 11 achieved a second complete remission. The median survival time after progression was 5 months (<1-41 months), and only two patients remained alive at time of follow-up. Length of survival is primarily related to some specific patterns of relapse (time from diagnosis to recurrence, circumstances of relapse, extent of relapse) and to the response to salvage therapy. No evidence of long-term benefit appeared from any form of treatment.
PMCID: PMC2150165  PMID: 9579840

Results 1-3 (3)