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J Neurooncol. 2007 Jan;81(2):217-23. Epub 2006 Aug 29.

Childhood pineoblastoma: experiences from the prospective multicenter trials HIT-SKK87, HIT-SKK92 and HIT91.

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  • 1Children's University Hospital, University of Wuerzburg, Josef-Schneider-Str. 2, 97080, Wuerzburg, Germany.



To analyze the outcome of children with pineoblastoma (PB), treated within the prospective multicenter trials HIT-SKK87, HIT-SKK92 and HIT91 of German-speaking countries.


We report on 11 children suffering from PB. Five children younger than 3 years of age received chemotherapy after surgery until eligible for radiotherapy (HIT-SKK87 and HIT-SKK92). Five of six children older than 3 years were treated after surgery with immediate chemotherapy and craniospinal irradiation, and one child received maintenance chemotherapy after postoperative radiotherapy (HIT91).


Five of the six older children are still alive in continuous complete remission (CCR) with a median overall survival (OS) and progression free survival (PFS) of 7.9 years. Five of these six HIT91 patients responded to postoperative chemotherapy and radiotherapy. The only patient with tumor progression during initial chemotherapy achieved complete remission with radiotherapy and is alive. In contrast, all five young children died of tumor progression after a median OS of 0.9 years (PFS 0.6 years). They had either metastatic disease (M1) and/or postoperative residual tumor. Response to postoperative chemotherapy was lower than in the older age group, and only one of these children received radiotherapy.


Combined chemotherapy and radiotherapy were feasible and effective in the older age group, leading to prolonged remissions in five of six children. Tumor biology may be more aggressive in younger children with PB, who presented more frequently with high-risk features at diagnosis and had poorer response rates to neoadjuvant postoperative chemotherapy. More intensified treatment regimens may be needed for young children with PB.

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