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Pediatr Neurol. 2012 Sep;47(3):162-6. doi: 10.1016/j.pediatrneurol.2012.05.025.

Patterns of failure in patients with primary intracranial germinoma treated with neoadjuvant chemotherapy and radiotherapy.

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Department of Radiation Oncology, Wayne State University and Detroit Medical Center, Detroit, MI 48201, USA.


External beam radiotherapy has proven effective in managing intracranial germinoma. However, concerns regarding long-term neurocognitive and endocrine sequelae led to the addition of chemotherapy, to reduce radiation target volumes. There is a paucity of data on patterns of failure in patients treated with differing radiation field sizes. We review our experience at a tertiary children's hospital treating children with intracranial germinoma, using induction chemotherapy followed by radiation therapy to various treatment volumes (craniospinal irradiation, whole ventricular irradiation, whole brain radiation therapy, and focal radiotherapy). Ten patients with primary intracranial germinoma, treated from November 1995-March 2011, were included. The primary treatment involved platinum-based chemotherapy, followed by definitive radiotherapy. The median follow-up period was 4.3 years (range, 0.75-13.25 years). The 5-year overall survival for the entire group was estimated at 85.7%, and the 5-year disease-free survival was estimated at 75.0%. Two treatment failures occurred at 5 and 28 months, both in patients with single lesions in the pineal region treated with focal radiotherapy only. Based on the patterns of failure, our outcomes support the continued use of the whole ventricular field vs a focal field, even in patients with limited disease who demonstrate a complete response to neoadjuvant chemotherapy.

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