Preirradiation chemotherapy with carboplatin and etoposide in newly diagnosed embryonal pediatric CNS tumors

Richard L. Heideman, Edward H. Kovnar, Stewart J. Kellie, Edwin C. Douglass, Amar J. Gajjar, Andrew W. Walter, James A. Langston, Jesse J. Jenkins, Yulan Li, Carol Greenwald, Robert A. Sanford, Larry E. Kun

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

51 Scopus citations


Purpose: We evaluated the clinical efficacy of preirradiation carboplatin (CARBO) and etoposide (VP-16) in 25 patients with newly diagnosed embryonal CNS tumors. Patients and Methods: Sixteen patients with high-risk medulloblastoma and nine with other embryonal tumors were treated with two daily doses of CARBO 350 mg/m2 and VP-16 100 mg/m2 (CARBO/VP) every 21 days for four cycles before standard craniospinal irradiation. Patients with disease progression (PD) before radiation therapy were additionally treated with intensive postirradiation cyclophosphamide (CYCLO) and vincristine (VINC). Results: Among 23 assessable patients, 48% (95% confidence interval, 27% to 69%) had a complete response (CR) or partial response (PR) to CARBO/VP; eight had PD. Among the subgroup of 15 assessable patients with medulloblastoma, 53% had a CR or PR (95% confidence interval, 27% to 79%) and five PD. The toxicity of CARBO/VP was predominantly hematologic; although grade IV neutropenia was common, only five episodes of febrile neutropenia occurred. Only thrombocytopenia was a more common toxicity than in other reported chemotherapy regimens; ototoxicity was less common than in cisplatin (CDDP) regimens. Conclusion: The responses and survival associated with neoadjuvant CARBO/VP are similar to those with CDDP-containing and other neoadjuvant drug regimens. Although the rate of progression with this regimen may be higher than with similar CDDP-containing regimens, the numbers of patients in other published studies of these agents are too small to detect meaningful statistical differences. Future studies must balance the apparently comparable efficacy of CARBO and CDDP with their differing toxicities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2247-2254
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Clinical Oncology
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 1995

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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