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Pediatr Blood Cancer. 2011 Sep;57(3):506-13. doi: 10.1002/pbc.22899. Epub 2010 Dec 1.

Phase I study of tandem high-dose chemotherapy with autologous peripheral blood stem cell rescue for children with recurrent brain tumors: a Pediatric Blood and MarrowTransplant Consortium study.

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Levine Children's Hospital, Charlotte, NC, USA.



High-dose chemotherapy with autologous stem cell rescue (HDC/SCR) has produced responses and prolonged survival for some children with recurrent brain tumors, but is associated with considerable morbidity and mortality. A Phase I trial of two cycles of HDC/SCR for recurrent brain tumors in children was performed to determine the maximum tolerated doses for a novel regimen.


Two cycles of HDC/SCR were given. Cycle 1 included thiotepa and carmustine given on days -5, -4, and -3. Four to six weeks later, patients received cycle 2 which included thiotepa and carboplatin given on days -5, -4, and -3. Autologous peripheral blood stem cells (PBSC) were infused on day 0 of each cycle.


Thirty-two patients were treated and 25 patients received both cycles of HDC/SCR. Common toxicities included mucositis, emesis, diarrhea, anorexia, and pancytopenia. Eight of 32 (25%) assessable children died from regimen-related toxicity. Pulmonary failure occurred in seven patients. Seven patients had grade 3-4 neurotoxicity. The 3-year event-free survival (EFS) was 25%.


We determined the maximum tolerated regimen to be thiotepa 600 mg/m(2) and carmustine 300 mg/m(2) followed by thiotepa 600 mg/m(2) and carboplatin 1,200 mg/m(2) . Pulmonary toxicity was considerable. The toxic death rate was similar to other trials of HDC/SCR for children with recurrent brain tumors performed during the same time period. The regimen resulted in prolonged time to progression for a significant number of patients and long-term survival for some patients with recurrent medulloblastoma and rhabdoid tumor.

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