Carboplatin before and during radiation therapy for the treatment of malignant brain stem tumours: a study by the Société Française d'Oncologie Pédiatrique.
ABSTRACT Childhood malignant brain stem tumours have a very poor prognosis with a median survival of 9 months despite radiotherapy. No chemotherapy has improved survival. However, carboplatin has been reported to have activity in glial tumours as well as antitumour synergy with radiation. Our aims were to test the response rate of these tumours to carboplatin alone and to evaluate the efficacy on survival of carboplatin alone followed by concurrent carboplatin and radiotherapy. Patients younger than 16 years with typical clinical and radiological presentation of infiltrating brain stem tumour, as well as histologically-documented cases in the atypical forms, were eligible. Two courses of carboplatin (1050 mg/m2 over 3 days) were administered initially. This treatment was followed by a chemoradiotherapy phase including five weekly carboplatin courses (200 mg/m2) and conventional radiotherapy. 38 eligible patients were included. No tumour response was observed after the initial phase. This schedule of first-line carboplatin followed by concurrent carboplatin and radiotherapy did not improve survival.