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Bone Marrow Transplant. 2002 Nov;30(9):565-9.

Possible benefits of high-dose chemotherapy and autologous stem cell transplantation for adults with recurrent medulloblastoma.

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Department of Oncology, University of Calgary, Calgary, Alberta, Canada.


In an attempt to improve the dismal prognosis of adults with recurrent medulloblastoma, six patients were treated with aggressive salvage therapy including high-dose chemotherapy (HDCT) and autologous stem cell transplantation (ASCT). At relapse, all patients underwent surgical debulking followed by HDCT/ASCT and then radiotherapy when possible. The treatment plan included two cycles of HDCT/ASCT; first with cyclophosphamide, etoposide and carboplatin (CECb) and then 2 months later with cyclophosphamide and thiotepa (CT). Three of the six patients received the planned therapy. One patient experienced severe toxicity requiring life-sustaining therapy. This patient developed multi-organ dysfunction including multiple enhancing lesions in both cerebral hemispheres that slowly resolved over several months. Two other patients did not mobilize sufficient stem cells for two ASCT procedures. They received one ASCT conditioned with cyclophosphamide, thiotepa and carboplatin (CTCb). Three of six patients had a complete response (CR); the other three had a partial response (PR). Following the first ASCT, median duration of response was 13.5 months (range 9-29 months) and median survival was 21.5 months (range 12-42 months). There was no treatment-related mortality. We conclude that HDCT/ASCT with CECb-CT or CTCb is active against recurrent medulloblastoma in adults and may be associated with prolonged remissions. Multiple enhancing cerebral lesions on brain MRI early post-HDCT/ASCT may be a consequence of the treatment rather than metastatic disease.

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