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Pediatr Transplant. 1999;3 Suppl 1:87-95.

The role of high-dose chemotherapy and stem cell rescue in the treatment of malignant brain tumors: a reappraisal.

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1
Stephen D. Hassenfeld Children's Cancer Center, New York University, New York 10016, USA.

Abstract

The outcome for children with malignant brain tumors has improved modestly in recent years. Notable is the improved 5-yr disease-free survival for those children with 'standard-risk' medulloblastoma and other primitive neuro-ectodermal tumors (PNET) (i.e. tumors without neuraxis dissemination at presentation). For other children with newly diagnosed malignant brain tumors, especially in the absence of radical surgical resection, the outcome remains poor despite surgery, irradiation and conventional chemotherapy. Patients whose tumors recur despite initial therapy continue to experience a dismal outlook with these conventional strategies of treatment. In an attempt to improve the outlook for such brain tumor patients with poor prognoses, strategies utilizing high-dose (potentially myeloablative) chemotherapy with autologous stem cell rescue have been developed. These studies, conducted initially in patients with recurrent tumors, were then extended to patients with newly diagnosed malignant gliomas and brain-stem tumors, as well as to young children with various malignant brain tumors at diagnosis in an attempt to avoid irradiation to the brain. The results of several of these studies are summarized, updating information reviewed in an earlier summary in 1996, demonstrating durable disease-free survival for a proportion of patients with recurrent malignant gliomas and medulloblastomas/PNET, as well as encouraging data in some of those patients with newly diagnosed brain tumors.

PMID:
10587977
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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