Lack of efficacy of postoperative chemotherapy and delayed radiation in very young children with pineoblastoma

Patricia K. Duffner, Michael E. Cohen, Robert A. Sanford, Marc E. Horowitz, Jeffrey P. Krischer, Peter C. Burger, Henry S. Friedman, Larry E. Kun

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51 Scopus citations


Eleven infants with pineoblastomas were treated with prolonged postoperative chemotherapy in an attempt to delay radiation and reduce neurotoxicity. These infants were part of the Pediatric Oncology Group infant brain tumor study but the outcome of infants with pineoblastomas was not previously reported. Ages ranged from 1 month to 35 months, with eight of 11 ≦ 12 months at diagnosis. Four had + cytology and three had + myelograms at diagnosis. The majority had partial surgical resection (25–75% reduction in tumor) and 10 had shunts. Chemotherapy consisted of two 28‐day cycles of cyclophosphamide plus vincristine, followed by one 28‐day cycle of cisplatin plus etoposide. Craniospinal radiation was planned following completion of either 2 years of chemotherapy (children less than 24 months at diagnosis) or following one year (children 24–36 months at diagnosis). Neuroimaging results following two cycles of cyclophosphamide and vincristine were one partial response, five stable disease, and five progressive disease. There were no responders in the leptomeninges. All children ultimately failed chemotherapy (2 months–11 months). Nine failed in the primary site. Of those eight children in whom a metastatic workup was performed at time of progression, all had evidence of leptomeningeal disease. Six received radiation following failure on chemotherapy. All failed either in the primary site, leptomeninges or extraneurally (peritoneal cavity). All children died. Survival following diagnosis ranged from 4 months to 13 months. This chemotherapy regimen was neither effective in controlling tumor in the primary site nor in treating or preventing leptomeningeal spread. © 1995 Wiley‐Liss, Inc.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)38-44
Number of pages7
JournalMedical and Pediatric Oncology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 1995


  • brain tumors in infants
  • pineoblastomas
  • postoperative chemotherapy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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