Phase III study of craniospinal radiation therapy followed by adjuvant chemotherapy for newly diagnosed average-risk medulloblastoma

Roger J. Packer, Amar Gajjar, Gilbert Vezina, Lucy Rorke-Adams, Peter C. Burger, Patricia L. Robertson, Lisa Bayer, Deborah LaFond, Bernadine R. Donahue, Mary Anne H. Marymont, Karin Muraszko, James Langston, Richard Sposto

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

589 Scopus citations


Purpose: To determine the event-free survival (EFS) and overall survival of children with average-risk medulloblastoma and treated with reduced-dose craniospinal radiotherapy (CSRT) and one of two postradiotherapy chemotherapies. Methods: Four hundred twenty-one patients between 3 years and 21 years of age with nondisseminated medulloblastoma (MB) were prospectively randomly assigned to treatment with 23.4 Gy of CSRT, 55.8 Gy of posterior fossa RT, plus one of two adjuvant chemotherapy regimens: lomustine (CCNU), cisplatin, and vincristine; or cyclophosphamide, cisplatin, and vincristine. Results: Forty-two of 421 patients enrolled were excluded from analysis. Sixty-six of the remaining 379 patients had incompletely assessable postoperative studies. Five-year EFS and survival for the cohort of 379 patients was 81 % ± 2.1 % and 86% ± 9%, respectively (median follow-up over 5 years). EFS was unaffected by sex, race, age, treatment regimen, brainstem involvement, or excessive anaplasia. EFS was detrimentally affected by neuroradiographic unassessability. Patients with areas of frank dissemination had a 5-year EFS of 36% ± 15%. Sixty-seven percent of progressions had some component of dissemination. There were seven second malignancies. Infections occurred more frequently on the cyclophosphamide arm and electrolyte abnormalities were more common on the CCNU regimen. Conclusion: This study discloses an encouraging EFS rate for children with nondisseminated MB treated with reduced-dose craniospinal radiation and chemotherapy. Additional, careful, step-wise reductions in CSRT in adequately staged patients may be possible.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4202-4208
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Clinical Oncology
Issue number25
StatePublished - Sep 1 2006
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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