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J Clin Oncol. 1999 Mar;17(3):832-45.

Metastasis stage, adjuvant treatment, and residual tumor are prognostic factors for medulloblastoma in children: conclusions from the Children's Cancer Group 921 randomized phase III study.

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University of California at Irvine Medical Center, Orange, USA.



From 1986 to 1992, "eight-drugs-in-one-day" (8-in-1) chemotherapy both before and after radiation therapy (XRT) (54 Gy tumor/36 Gy neuraxis) was compared with vincristine, lomustine (CCNU), and prednisone (VCP) after XRT in children with untreated, high-stage medulloblastoma (MB).


Two hundred three eligible patients with an institutional diagnosis of MB were stratified by local invasion and metastatic stage (Chang T/M) and randomized to therapy. Median time at risk from study entry was 7.0 years.


Survival and progression-free survival (PFS) +/- SE at 7 years were 55%+/-5% and 54%+/-5%, respectively. VCP was superior to 8-in-1 chemotherapy, with 5-year PFS rates of 63%+/-5% versus 45%+/-5%, respectively (P = .006). Upon central neuropathology review, 188 patients were confirmed as having MB and were the subjects for analyses of prognostic factors. Children aged 1.5 to younger than 3 years had inferior 5-year estimates of PFS, compared with children 3 years old or older (P = .0014; 32%+/-10% v 58%+/-4%, respectively). For MB patients 3 years of age or older, the prognostic effect of tumor spread (MO v M1 v M2+) on PFS was powerful (P = .0006); 5-year PFS rates were 70%+/-5%, 57%+/-10%, and 40%+/-8%, respectively. PFS distributions at 5 years for patients with M0 tumors with less than 1.5 cm2 of residual tumor, versus > or = 1.5 cm2 of residual tumor by scan, were significantly different (P = .023; 78%+/-6% v 54%+/-11%, respectively).


VCP plus XRT is a superior adjuvant combination compared with 8-in-1 chemotherapy plus XRT. For patients with M0 tumors, residual tumor bulk (not extent of resection) is a predictor for PFS. Patients with M0 tumors, > or = 3 years with < or = 1.5 cm2 residual tumor, had a 78%+/-6% 5-year PFS rate. Children younger than 3 years old who received a reduced XRT dosage had the lowest survival rate.

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