Management of childhood cerebellar astrocytoma

International Journal of Radiation OncologyBiologyPhysics (Impact Factor: 4.26). 05/1990; 18(4):971-3. DOI: 10.1016/0360-3016(90)90425-J
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    ABSTRACT: Twenty patients, aged 6 months to 20 years, with low-grade astrocytoma (LGA) participated in a chemotherapy trial of vincristine (VCR) and etoposide (VP-16). Fourteen children had recurrent progressive disease at entry on study. Prior treatment consisted of surgical resection alone (6), surgical resection and irradiation (4), surgical resection, irradiation and chemotherapy (2), surgery and chemotherapy (1), and irradiation and chemotherapy (1). Six patients were treated at initial diagnosis of LGA because they were less than 5 years old (5) or for a second primary tumor (1). Four recurrent patients and 3 newly diagnosed patients underwent surgical debulking of their tumors immediately prior to study entry. Tumors were located in the optic nerve/chiasm/hypothalamus (8), brain stem/cerebellum (4), cerebral hemispheres (3), midline structures (3), and spinal cord (2). The treatment plan administered in an out-patient setting consisted of weekly VCR 1.5 mg/m2 for 7 to 8 weeks and VP-16 100 mg/m2 for 5 days repeated every 6 weeks for a total of 18 months of therapy. Responses were evaluated by computerized tomography or magnetic resonance imaging. Of the 20 patients, 1 exhibited a partial response maintained for 12+ months, 3 exhibited minor responses maintained for a period of 10+ to 35 months, and 11 maintained stable disease for 10 to 42 months. Of the 11 patients with stable disease, 2 were withdrawn early from the study without further therapy. Five of the 20 patients developed progressive disease; for 4 of these 5, this occurred during the first course of therapy. Subsequently, these 5 died due to tumor.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)
    Journal of Neuro-Oncology 11/1992; 14(2):151-8. DOI:10.1007/BF00177619 · 3.07 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Although pilocytic astrocytomas (PA) generally are considered benign, a subset of patients with PA have disease progression despite standard treatment with surgery and radiation therapy. The authors report their experience with chemotherapy in this patient group. The authors treated 11 patients (4 males and 7 females; median age at diagnosis, 8 years) with pathologically confirmed PA with chemotherapy. In eight patients, tumor progression or recurrence despite prior surgery and radiation therapy led to chemotherapy treatment. In three children younger than 5 years, chemotherapy was given in lieu of radiation therapy immediately after diagnosis (in one patient) or at the time of disease progression after surgery (in two patients). The authors used ten different chemotherapy regimens to treat the 11 patients. Chemotherapy produced clinical and radiographic improvement (R/R) in four (36%) patients, clinical stabilization and radiographic improvement (SD/R) in 1 (9%), clinical and radiographic stabilization (SD/SD) in 3 (27%), and was associated with clinical and radiographic progression (PD/PD) in 3 (27%). Three of the five patients with radiographic improvement had a greater than 75% reduction of maximal cross-sectional tumor area. Hematologic toxicity resulted in dose reductions in 43 of 110 (39%) total courses of chemotherapy. There were three hospitals admissions for fever and neutropenia and one chemotherapy-related death. The authors conclude that chemotherapy may benefit those with progressive inoperable PA. Chemotherapy may delay the need for radiation therapy in young patients with unresectable PA requiring treatment. PA may be a chemosensitive primary brain tumor.
    Cancer 06/1993; 71(10):3165-72. DOI:10.1002/1097-0142(19930515)71:103.0.CO;2-N · 4.89 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The majority of patients with astrocytomas of the cerebellum have an excellent prognosis; however, a small percentage of patients continue to do poorly. To clarify the clinical, pathologic, and treatment characteristics that determine prognosis and therapeutic recommendations, a large group of patients with astrocytic tumors of the cerebellum was reviewed and analyzed. A clinicopathologic analysis was performed of all patients undergoing initial operation for astrocytomas in the cerebellum between 1960 and 1984. Of the 132 patients, 105 patients had pilocytic astrocytomas and 27 had diffuse astrocytomas. Multivariate analysis revealed that the division of pilocytic and diffuse histologic type was the most significant prognostic factor influencing survival. The 5-year, 10-year, and 20-year survival rates were 85%, 81%, and 79%, respectively, for patients with pilocytic astrocytomas and 7%, 7%, and 7%, respectively, for patients with diffuse astrocytomas (P < 0.001). Pilocytic astrocytomas occurred in a younger age group and were more commonly cystic and completely resected. Astrocytomas of the cerebellum can be divided into two principal groups, the pilocytic and the diffuse astrocytomas, each of which has distinct clinical, pathologic, and prognostic characteristics.
    Cancer 08/1993; 72(3):856-69. · 4.89 Impact Factor
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