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J Clin Oncol. 2004 Apr 15;22(8):1398-403. Epub 2004 Mar 8.

Efficacy of topotecan and cyclophosphamide given in a phase II window trial in children with newly diagnosed metastatic rhabdomyosarcoma: a Children's Oncology Group study.

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Hematology/Oncology, Children's Memorial Medical Center, 2300 Children's Plaza, Box 30, Chicago, IL 60614, USA.

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  • J Clin Oncol. 2004 Aug 1;22(15):3205.



To determine the antitumor activity and toxicity of topotecan given immediately after cyclophosphamide as window therapy, then in combination with conventional agents in pediatric patients with newly diagnosed metastatic rhabdomyosarcoma (RMS).


Sixty-one patients younger than 21 years with newly diagnosed metastatic RMS or undifferentiated sarcoma were assigned window therapy (weeks 0 to 6) with topotecan (0.75 mg/m(2) daily x 5 every 21 days) immediately after cyclophosphamide (250 mg/m(2) daily x 5 every 21 days; TC). We continued to give these agents in combination with vincristine (VTC) to patients who showed objective improvement, partial response (PR), or complete response (CR) to TC and alternated courses of VTC with vincristine, dactinomycin and cyclophosphamide (VAC) during weeks 6 to 41 (VTC/VAC). Those who showed no response or progressive disease after TC received only VAC. All patients received radiotherapy to sites of unresected disease (weeks 15 to 21).


The overall response rate (CR + PR) to TC was 47% (95% CI, 35% to 60%). Tumor size < or = 5 cm was associated with early response. Myelosuppression was the primary toxicity to TC. Overall 3-year disease-free survival and survival were estimated to be 10% (95% CI, 2% to 19%) and 20% (95% CI, 8% to 32%), respectively. Toxicity profiles for patients who received VTC/VAC or VAC alone were comparable.


Topotecan after cyclophosphamide is a combination that is active against newly diagnosed RMS, with an acceptable toxicity profile. Disease-free survival and overall survival, however, remain disappointing for children with metastatic RMS at diagnosis.

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