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Congenit Heart Dis. 2011 Nov-Dec;6(6):608-23. doi: 10.1111/j.1747-0803.2011.00574.x. Epub 2011 Nov 11.

A prospective phase II trial of vinblastine and methotrexate in multivessel intraluminal pulmonary vein stenosis in infants and children.

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Department of Cardiology, Children's Hospital, Boston, MA, USA.



To determine the safety and efficacy of the chemotherapeutic agents vinblastine and methotrexate in the treatment of children with progressive multivessel intraluminal pulmonary vein stenosis (PVS).


Children received weekly vinblastine and methotrexate for a period of 1 year. Outcomes (for patients receiving ≥1 month of chemotherapy) were classified separately for patients with isolated PVS and PVS with congenital heart disease (CHD). Primary efficacy outcome was "response to treatment" categorized by echocardiographic criteria of response. Survival to 1 year was also evaluated. All adverse events were classified according to Cancer Therapy Evaluation Program, Common Terminology Criteria version 3.0. Events were further classified as related to chemotherapy, cardiac, or other causes.


Among 29 patients enrolled, 28 received at least one dose of chemotherapy and were evaluable for toxicity, while 23 were evaluable for response (21 CHD, 2 isolated). Both patients in the isolated group had progressive disease and died. Overall, 33% (7/21) of patients with PVS and CHD had stable disease; 1-year survival of 38%; and four patients continue in remission (93, 96, 124, and 125 months after treatment initiation). While both cardiac-related (19%) and chemotherapy-related (53%) toxicities were common, most were asymptomatic laboratory changes. Grade 3 (13%) and grade 4 (4%) toxicities were reversible, and no treatment-related grade 5 toxicities were observed.


We report on the first prospective trial of chemotherapy for infants and children targeting the presence of myofibroblastic cells within the lesions of PVS based on myofibroblastic proliferation associated with desmoid tumors of infancy. The toxicity profile resulted in numerous treatment delays and interruptions that, combined with limited information on the natural history of PVS in this patient population, hampered our ability to determine the true efficacy of this approach. These results will be important as a baseline for clinical trials in this patient population.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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