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Bone Marrow Transplant. 1997 Oct;20(7):543-51.

Treatment of poor-risk neuroblastoma patients with high-dose chemotherapy and autologous peripheral stem cell rescue.

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  • 1Department of Pediatrics, Northwestern University Medical School and Children's Memorial Hospital, Chicago, IL 60614, USA.


A single institutional pilot study was conducted in which 12 poor-risk neuroblastoma (NB) patients were uniformly treated with multi-agent induction chemotherapy followed by myeloablative consolidation chemotherapy and unpurged peripheral blood stem cell (PBSC) rescue. In addition to using standard criteria for evaluating response to induction chemotherapy, tumor cell contamination of the peripheral blood and/or bone marrow was analyzed in seven patients by immunocytology using a panel of five anti-NB monoclonal antibodies. Seven patients had morphologic evidence of bone marrow disease at the time of diagnosis, and two additional patients had tumor cells detected in bone marrow samples by immunocytology prior to the second cycle of chemotherapy. After three cycles of chemotherapy, two of the 12 patients continued to have evidence of bone marrow disease. Samples from 29 PBSC harvests collected from nine patients were also analyzed for the presence of contaminating tumor cells by immunocytology. In each case, the stem cells were found to be free of tumor. Eleven of the 12 patients underwent myeloablative therapy and PBSC rescue; five patients remain alive without disease progression, 28+ to 53+ months from diagnosis, and six patients have developed recurrent disease. We conclude that PBSCs can be successfully harvested from children with NB, and used for hematopoietic reconstitution following myeloablative chemotherapy. However, more effective therapy for poor-risk NB patients is still urgently needed.

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