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Eur J Cancer. 1997 Oct;33(12):2130-5.

1070 myeloablative megatherapy procedures followed by stem cell rescue for neuroblastoma: 17 years of European experience and conclusions. European Group for Blood and Marrow Transplant Registry Solid Tumour Working Party.

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  • 1Centre Léon Bérard, Department of Paediatrics, Lyon, France.


1070 myeloablative procedures followed by stem cell rescue for neuroblastoma are reviewed. These 1070 procedures are part of the European Group for Blood and Marrow Transplant (EBMTG) registry from the last 17 years (in 4536 patients). In 1070 neuroblastoma patients, survival at 2 years was 49%, at 5 years, 33% and relapses were observed as late as 7 years post-BMT (bone marrow transplant). However, 5-year survivors after megatherapy with BMT for stage 4 disease do have an 80% chance of becoming a long-term survivor. When BMT had been used in first complete response (CR1) no salvage was possible, whereas 15% survivors may be seen if BMT is used for the first time at relapse. Infants with stage 4 neuroblastoma had a 17% toxic death rate and indication in this group is exceptional and not recommended. In a matched cohort (17 allogeneic and 34 autologous), autologous stem cell rescue (SCR) was shown to be at least equal to allogeneic SCR. Multivariate analysis of clinical prognostic factors in children with stage 4 disease over 1 year showed that event-free survival was mainly influenced by two adverse factors before the megatherapy procedure: persisting skeleton lesions (99Tc and/or mIBG scan positive) as well as persisting bone marrow (BM) involvement.

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