Purpose: To compare event-free survival (EFS), overall survival (OS), pattern of relapse, and hearing loss in children with standard-risk medulloblastoma treated by postoperative hyperfractionated or conventionally fractionated radiotherapy followed by maintenance chemotherapy. Patients and Methods: In all, 340 children age 4 to 21 years from 122 European centers were postoperatively staged and randomly assigned to treatment with hyperfractionated radiotherapy (HFRT) or standard (conventional) fractionated radiotherapy (STRT) followed by a common chemotherapy regimen consisting of eight cycles of cisplatin, lomustine, and vincristine. Results: After a median follow-up of 4.8 years (range, 0.1 to 8.3 years), survival rates were not significantly different between the two treatment arms: 5-year EFS was 77% ± 4% in the STRT group and 78% ± 4% in the HFRT group; corresponding 5-year OS was 87% ± 3% and 85% ± 3%, respectively. A postoperative residual tumor of more than 1.5 cm2 was the strongest negative prognostic factor. EFS of children with all reference assessments and no large residual tumor was 82% ± 2% at 5 years. Patients with a delay of more than 7 weeks to the start of RT had a worse prognosis. Severe hearing loss was not significantly different for the two treatment arms at follow-up. Conclusion: In this large randomized European study, which enrolled patients with standard-risk medulloblastoma from more than 100 centers, excellent survival rates were achieved in patients without a large postoperative residual tumor and without RT treatment delays. EFS and OS for HFRT was not superior to STRT, which therefore remains standard of care in this disease.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research