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Pediatr Neurol. 2001 Feb;24(2):117-21.

Recurrent intracranial ependymoma in children: salvage therapy with oral etoposide.

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  • 1Department of Neurology, Kaiser-Permanente, Baldwin Park, California 91706, USA.


Chronic oral VP-16 (etoposide) is a chemotherapy regimen with a wide application in oncology and documented efficacy against germ cell tumors, lymphomas, Kaposi's sarcoma, and primary brain tumors. This study was performed to assess the toxicity and activity of chronic oral etoposide in the management of children with recurrent intracranial nondisseminated ependymoma. Twelve children (median age of 8 years) with recurrent ependymoma who were refractory to surgery, radiotherapy, and chemotherapy (carboplatinum or the combination of procarbazine, lomustine, and vincristine) were treated with chronic oral etoposide (50 mg/m(2)/day). Treatment-related complications included the following: alopecia (10 children), diarrhea (6), weight loss (5), anemia (4), neutropenia (3), and thrombocytopenia (3). Three children required transfusion (two with packed red blood cells; two with platelets), and two children developed neutropenic fever. No treatment-related deaths occurred. Six children (50%) demonstrated either a radiographic response (two children, both with partial response) or stable disease (four children) with a median duration of response or stable disease of 7 months. In this small cohort of children with recurrent intracranial ependymoma, oral etoposide was well tolerated, produced modest toxicity, and had apparent activity.

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