Hyperfractionated radiation therapy in brain stem tumors. Results of treatment at the 7020 cgy dose level of pediatric oncology group study #8495

C. R. Freeman, J. Krischer, R. A. Sanford, L. Kun, M. E. Cohen, P. C. Burger, E. C. Halperin, I. Crocker, M. Wharam

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71 Scopus citations


Between May 1986 and February 1988, 57 patients were accrued to the second dose level of a Phase I/II Pediatric Oncology Group (POG) study exploring the use of hyperfractionated radiation therapy (HRT) in children with high‐risk brain stem tumors. Local fields were treated with fraction sizes of 117 cGy given twice daily, with a minimum interfraction interval of 6 hours, to a total dose of 7020 cGy in 60 fractions over 6 weeks. Information regarding clinical status during HRT was available for 55 patients (44 [80%] improved, 6 remained stable, and 5 deteriorated). Results of initial and follow‐up computed tomography (CT) scan and/or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) were available for review for 52 patients. One patient had a complete response (CR) to treatment, 3 had a partial response (PR) (more than 50% response), and 40 remained stable, for a total response rate (CR + PR + stable) of 77%. Median time to disease progression was 6 months. Median survival time was 10 months. Survival rate was 39.6% (standard error [SE] = 6.6%) at 1 year and 23% (SE = 5.8%) at 2 years. Complications of treatment included an enhanced skin reaction in six patients and otitis media and/or externa in nine. One patient bled into tumor shortly after completion of HRT, and three had intralesional necrosis. Five patients continued taking steroids for protracted periods in the face of improved clinical and/or radiologic findings. Complications related to the use of steroids included opportunistic infections, impaired glucose tolerance, hypertension, osteoporosis, and significant mood changes. In no patient was there evidence of any late injury attributable to HRT. When compared with results of treatment with HRT at a lower dose level (6600 cGy), there appears to be a trend toward improved survival at 7020 cGy despite a less favorable patient population at the higher dose level. A second dose escalation to 7560 cGy in 60 fractions over 6 weeks has been implemented as planned.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)474-481
Number of pages8
Issue number3
StatePublished - Aug 1 1991
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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