Researchers from Los Angeles Children Hospital claimed that autologous stem cell transplant along with radiation and chemotherapy help improve the survival rates of the children with average and high-risk Medulloblastoma (MB).
Medulloblastoma is a relatively rare brain tumor in children and has a grave prognosis.
The treatment of Medulloblastoma brain tumor in children usually consists of maximum surgery followed by chemotherapy and radiation therapy.
The major problems with this intensive therapy approach is brain damage (leukoencephalopathy), which is thought to be predominantly due to radiation. Because of the risk of leukoencephalopathy, many children with MB are often treated initially with chemotherapy.
A recent multicenter trial has reported that children with average and high-risk MB have improved survivals following post-operative risk-adapted radiotherapy and four cycles of high-dose cyclophosphamide and cisplatin with peripheral blood stem cell support.
The details of this study appeared in an early online publication in Cancer on April 28, 2009.
The current study involved 19 patients, where six patients had not received prior irradiation and 13 patients had received prior radiation. All received high-dose thiotepa-based therapy with autologous stem cell support.
The three-year post-transplant event-free survival was 83% for patients not exposed to radiation therapy and 20% for patients who had received prior radiation therapy.
In the 13 patients who had received prior irradiation, four died of toxicity and five of tumor recurrence. There was a high rate of toxic death in patients transplanted within one year of radiotherapy.
Survivors following radiotherapy had a long interval from radiation to transplant and had chemoresponsive disease.