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J Clin Oncol. 1987 Feb;5(2):266-71.

High-dose chemoradiotherapy with bone marrow transplantation as consolidation treatment in neuroblastoma: an unselected group of stage IV patients over 1 year of age.


Since January 1983, 56 consecutive children over 1 year of age with stage IV neuroblastoma entered an aggressive protocol, including chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and bone marrow transplantation. The induction protocol included platinum and epipodophyllotoxin (VM-26), alternating with cyclophosphamide, Adriamycin (Adria Laboratories, Columbus, OH), and vincristine (PE/CADO). Surgery was performed after 2 to 4 months, and consolidation with intensive chemoradiotherapy and bone marrow transplantation (BMT) was performed within 12 months of diagnosis. The combination of vincristine, melphalan and total body irradiation (TBI) was used before BMT, and no further treatment was administered before progression. With the exception of two allografts, autologous BMT (ABMT) was given in all cases and was purged using an immunomagnetic procedure (Kemshead technique) in 32 of 35 cases, and a chemical procedure in three of 35. Of the 56 patients, 45 were evaluable. Of those, 23 were grafted in partial remission (PR), and 14 were grafted in either complete remission (CR) or very good partial remission (VGPR). The acute toxic death rate was 19%, the relapse rate was 32%, and the progressive disease rate was 19%. The progression-free survival in the CR/VGPR group (ie, 44% at 32 months post-diagnosis) and in the PR group (13% at 32 months) was not significantly different (P greater than .05). At 24 months, the overall survival of the 56 unselected patients was 39% compared with 12% for comparable patients previously treated by our group (P less than .005).

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