Treatment of infants with malignant gliomas: the Pediatric Oncology Group experience.
Although survivals of infants with malignant brain tumors are worse than any other age group, one possible exception to this rule are the malignant gliomas. Eighteen children less than 3 years of age with malignant gliomas (glioblastoma multiforme, anaplastic astrocytoma and malignant glioma) were treated on the Pediatric Oncology Group regimen of prolonged postoperative chemotherapy and delayed irradiation, (1986-1990). Of 10 children evaluable for neuroradiologic response, 6 had partial responses (> 50% reduction) to two cycles of cyclophosphamide and vincristine. Progression free survivals at 1,3 and 5 years were 54.25% +/- 12, 43% +/- 16 and 43% +/- 23 respectively. Survivals at 5 years were 50% +/- 14. Four children were not irradiated after 24 months of chemotherapy due to parental refusal and none have developed recurrent disease. Neither degree of surgical resection, presence or absence of metastases, nor pathology influenced survival but this may reflect small sample size. This study suggests that some malignant gliomas in infants are chemotherapy sensitive and may be associated with a good prognosis. Why infants with these high-grade gliomas fare better than adults is not clear. It is likely that there is something intrinsically different about them that cannot be identified on routine pathologic examination.
Duffner, PK; Krischer, JP; Burger, PC; Cohen, ME; Backstrom, JW; Horowitz, ME; Sanford, RA; Friedman, HS; Kun, LE
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