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Pediatr Hematol Oncol. 2004 Sep;21(6):495-504.

Long-term results of high-dose chemotherapy and autologous stem cell rescue for high-risk neuroblastoma patients: a report of the Spanish working party for BMT in children (Getmon).

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  • 1Hospital Infantil La Fe, Valencia, Spain.


The authors retrospectively analyzed the long-term outcome of 67 patients over 1 year of age at diagnosis with high-risk neuroblastoma (stage 4 or stage 3 with N-myc amplification) who were treated with megatherapy and stem cell rescue from 1984 to 1998. Median age at transplant was 4 years (range 1.6-15 years). The source of cells was peripheral stem cells in 29 and bone marrow in 38 patients. In 12 patients, an in vitro purging of bone marrow harvest was performed. Most patients were conditioned with melphalan, BCNU, and VM-26. After transplant 19 patients received complementary treatment with IL-2 (16) or 13-cis-retinoic acid (3). Six patients (8%) died from transplant-related toxicity and 39 from disease progression. Three patients were alive with active disease at the time of analysis. Nineteen patients are alive and disease-free at a median follow-up of 104 months. Five-year event-free survival is 0.30. Survival of patients who received a purged graft was not significantly better than the rest. Post-transplant complementary treatment significantly improved overall and event-free survival (p = .01 and p = .04, respectively).

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