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J Neurooncol. 2011 Sep;104(3):773-7. doi: 10.1007/s11060-011-0542-4. Epub 2011 Feb 17.

Hypofractionated radiotherapy in the treatment of diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma in children: a single institution's experience.

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Department of Radiation Oncology, Institut Gustave Roussy, Villejuif, France.


We report herein our institutional experience in the treatment of diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma (DIPG) with a hypofractionated external-beam radiotherapy schedule. Between April 1996 and January 2004, 22 patients (age 2.9-12.5 years) with newly diagnosed DIPG were treated by hypofractionated radiation therapy delivering a total dose of 45 Gy in daily fractions of 3 Gy, given over 3 weeks. No other treatment was applied concomitantly. Fourteen of the 22 patients received the prescribed dose of 45 Gy in 15 fractions of 3 Gy, and 2 patients received a total dose of 60 and 45 Gy with a combination of two different beams (photons and neutrons). In five cases the daily fraction was modified to 2 Gy due to intolerance, and one patient died due to serious intracranial hypertension after two fractions of 3 Gy and one of 2 Gy. Among 22 children, 14 patients showed clinical improvement, usually starting in the second week of treatment. No grade 3 or 4 acute toxicity from radiotherapy was observed. No treatment interruption was needed. In six patients, steroids could be discontinued within 1 month after the end of radiotherapy. Median time to progression and median overall survival were 5.7 months and 7.6 months, respectively. External radiotherapy with a radical hypofractionated regimen is feasible and well tolerated in children with newly diagnosed DIPG. However, this regimen does not seem to change overall survival in this setting. It could represent a short-duration alternative to more protracted regimens.

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