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Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys. 2013 Feb 1;85(2):315-20. doi: 10.1016/j.ijrobp.2012.04.006. Epub 2012 Jun 9.

Hypofractionation vs conventional radiation therapy for newly diagnosed diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma: a matched-cohort analysis.

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Department of Radiation Oncology, Radboud University Nijmegen Medical Centre, Nijmegen, The Netherlands.



Despite conventional radiation therapy, 54 Gy in single doses of 1.8 Gy (54/1.8 Gy) over 6 weeks, most children with diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma (DIPG) will die within 1 year after diagnosis. To reduce patient burden, we investigated the role of hypofractionation radiation therapy given over 3 to 4 weeks. A 1:1 matched-cohort analysis with conventional radiation therapy was performed to assess response and survival.


Twenty-seven children, aged 3 to 14, were treated according to 1 of 2 hypofractionation regimens over 3 to 4 weeks (39/3 Gy, n=16 or 44.8/2.8 Gy, n=11). All patients had symptoms for ≤3 months, ≥2 signs of the neurologic triad (cranial nerve deficit, ataxia, long tract signs), and characteristic features of DIPG on magnetic resonance imaging. Twenty-seven patients fulfilling the same diagnostic criteria and receiving at least 50/1.8 to 2.0 Gy were eligible for the matched-cohort analysis.


With hypofractionation radiation therapy, the overall survival at 6, 9, and 12 months was 74%, 44%, and 22%, respectively. Progression-free survival at 3, 6, and 9 months was 77%, 43%, and 12%, respectively. Temporary discontinuation of steroids was observed in 21 of 27 (78%) patients. No significant difference in median overall survival (9.0 vs 9.4 months; P=.84) and time to progression (5.0 vs 7.6 months; P=.24) was observed between hypofractionation vs conventional radiation therapy, respectively.


For patients with newly diagnosed DIPG, a hypofractionation regimen, given over 3 to 4 weeks, offers equal overall survival with less treatment burden compared with a conventional regimen of 6 weeks.

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