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J Clin Oncol. 1997 May;15(5):1814-23.

High-dose chemotherapy with autologous stem-cell rescue in patients with recurrent and high-risk pediatric brain tumors.

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  • 1Department of Pediatrics, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, NC, USA.



We treated 49 patients with recurrent or poor-prognosis CNS malignancies with high-dose chemotherapy regimens followed by autologous marrow rescue with or without peripheral-blood stem-cell augmentation to determine the toxicity of and event-free survival after these regimens.


Nineteen patients had medulloblastomas, 12 had glial tumors, seven had pineoblastomas, five had ependymomas, three had primitive neuroectodermal tumors, two had germ cell tumors, and one had fibrosarcoma. Thirty-seven received chemotherapy with cyclophosphamide 1.5 g/m2 daily x 4 and melphalan 25 to 60 mg/m2 daily x 3. Nine received busulfan 37.5 mg/m2 every 6 hours x 16 and melphalan 180 mg/m2 (n = 7) or 140 mg/m2 (n = 2). Three received carboplatin 700 mg/m2/d on days -7, -5, and -3 and etoposide 500 mg/m2/d on days -6, -4, and -2. All patients received standard supportive care.


Eighteen of 49 patients survive event-free 22+ to 55+ months (median, 33+) after transplantation, including nine of 16 treated before recurrence and nine of 33 treated after recurrence. There was one transplant-related death from pulmonary aspergillosis. Of five patients assessable for disease response, one had a partial remission (2 months), one has had stable disease (55+ months), and three showed progression 2, 5, and 8 months after transplantation.


The toxicity of these regimens was tolerable. Certain patients with high-risk CNS malignancies may benefit from such a treatment approach. Subsequent trials should attempt to determine which patients are most likely to benefit from high-dose chemotherapy with autologous stem-cell rescue.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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