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Neurosurgery. 2008 Oct;63(4):720-6; author reply 726-7. doi: 10.1227/01.NEU.0000325494.69836.51.

Sequential salvage chemotherapy for recurrent intracranial hemangiopericytoma.

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  • 1Department of Neurology and Neurological Surgery, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington 98102, USA. chambermc@u.washington.edu



Hemangiopericytoma (HPC) is an uncommon primary brain tumor with an almost invariable tendency to recur and metastasize. We undertook a retrospectively collected case series of recurrent intracranial HPCs treated with salvage chemotherapy with the primary objective of evaluating progression-free survival.


Fifteen patients, ages 26 to 62 years, with recurrent HPC and who were previously treated with surgery and involved-field radiotherapy were studied. Eight (53%) of these patients had undergone re-resection before study entry. Ten patients (67%) were treated with stereotactic radiotherapy. Chemotherapy was administered to 5 patients at first relapse, 8 at second relapse, and 2 at third relapse (none of these patients were candidates for reoperation or stereotactic radiotherapy). Eight patients developed disseminated disease, all with multifocal intracranial disease (5 with cerebrospinal fluid dissemination, 4 with extraneural metastases). All patients were initially treated with cyclophosphamide, doxorubicin, and vincristine (CAV). After disease progression despite the administration of CAV in clinically appropriate patients, alpha-interferon (alpha-IFN) (9 patients) was administered. Five patients were treated with ifosfamide, cisplatin, and etoposide after they failed to respond to alpha-IFN. Neurological and neuroradiographic evaluations were performed every 8 weeks.


All patients were evaluable. A median of 4 cycles of CAV; 8 cycles of alpha-IFN; and 2 cycles of ifosfamide, cisplatin, and etoposide were administered. Chemotherapy-related toxicity included alopecia (100%), anemia (40%), thrombocytopenia (27%), and neutropenia (40%). Best response included 6 patients (40%) with a neuroradiographic partial response (2 with CAV, 4 with alpha-IFN), 14 (93%) had stable disease (9 with CAV, 5 with alpha-IFN), and 9 (60%) had progressive disease (4 with CAV, 5 with ifosfamide, cisplatin, and etoposide). The median overall survival was 14 months (range, 2-24 mo).


Salvage chemotherapy demonstrated modest efficacy with acceptable toxicity in this cohort of adult patients with recurrent surgery- and radiotherapy-refractory intracranial HPC.

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