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J Neurosurg. 1990 Apr;72(4):572-82.

The treatment of medulloblastoma. Results of a prospective randomized trial of radiation therapy with and without CCNU, vincristine, and prednisone.

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Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.


In a prospective randomized trial designed to study the effectiveness of adjuvant chemotherapy following standard surgical treatment and radiation therapy, 233 eligible patients with medulloblastoma were treated by members of the Children's Cancer Study Group and the Radiation Therapy Oncology Group. Eligible patients were randomly assigned to receive radiation therapy with or without adjuvant chemotherapy consisting of 1-(2-chloroethyl)-3-cyclohexyl-nitrosourea (CCNU), vincristine, and prednisone. The estimated 5-year event-free survival probability was 59% for patients treated with radiation therapy and chemotherapy and 50% for patients treated with radiation therapy alone, a difference which is not statistically significant. The 5-year survival probability was 65% for both groups. Although the treatment difference was not statistically significant when all patients were combined, in the small number of patients with more extensive tumors, event-free survival was better in the group receiving chemotherapy (48% vs. 0%, p = 0.006). In these latter patients the survival time is also significantly prolonged. Extent of disease (as measured by the M staging criteria described by Chang) and age at diagnosis were significantly associated with outcome; advanced disease and young age had a worse prognosis. The extent of tumor resection was not an independent prognostic factor. It is concluded that chemotherapy does not benefit patients with low-stage medulloblastoma, but may benefit those with more advanced stages of disease.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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