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J Clin Oncol. 1997 Aug;15(8):2939-44.

Effective chemotherapy for advanced CNS embryonal tumors in adults.

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Department of Neurology, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN 55905, USA.



Embryonal tumors of the CNS include, among others, medulloblastoma, cerebral neuroblastoma, pineoblastoma, and primitive neuroectodermal tumors (PNETs). Almost all data on the treatment of embryonal CNS tumors are derived from the pediatric population, since these tumors are uncommon in adulthood. The purpose of this study was to examine the rate and duration of response to chemotherapy of advanced embryonal CNS tumors in adults.


We retrospectively studied all adult (> 18 years of age) patients with advanced embryonal tumors of the CNS who received chemotherapy at our institution between 1976 and 1994. Seventeen consecutive patients were treated with regimens that contained either nitrosourea or cisplatin or both sequentially, with no patients having received the combination of nitrosourea and cisplatin concurrently.


In patients who received cisplatin-based chemotherapy, responses were observed in 84.5% (26% complete response [CR] rate), 10.5% remained stable, and 5% progressed. The median time to progression was 18 months for patients who had a CR, 6 months for those with partial response (PR), and 10 months for stable patients. Among patients who received nitrosourea-based chemotherapy, PR was observed in 27%, 36.5% remained stable, and 36.5% progress. The median time to progression was 6 months for patients who had a PR and 6.5 months for stable patients.


In adults with advanced embryonal CNS tumors, conventional-dose intravenous cisplatin-based chemotherapy regimens are able to produce responses in the majority of the patients (84.5%), even as second- or third-line regimens. Nitrosourea-based regimens less frequently produce responses (27%).

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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