Short topotecan-based induction regimen in newly diagnosed high-risk neuroblastoma

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Purpose: Topotecan is an active drug in relapsed neuroblastoma. We investigated the efficacy and toxicity of a topotecan-based induction regimen in newly diagnosed neuroblastoma. Methods: Patients older than 1 year with either metastatic or localised stage 2-3 MYCN-amplified neuroblastoma received 2 courses of high-dose topotecan (HD-TPT) 6 mg/m2 and high-dose cyclophosphamide (HD-CPM) 140 mg/kg, followed by 2 courses of ifosfamide, carboplatin and etoposide (ICE) every 28 days. After surgery on primary tumour, a fifth course with vincristine, doxorubicin and CPM was given, followed by high-dose chemotherapy with stem cell support. Response was assessed in accordance with the International Neuroblastoma Response Criteria. Results: Of 35 consecutive patients, 33 had metastatic disease. The median length of induction phase was 133 days (range 91-207) and time to high-dose chemotherapy was 208 days (range 156-285). The median tumour volume reduction was 55% after two HD-TPT/HD-CPM courses and 80% after four courses. Radical surgery was performed in 16/27 patients after chemotherapy. After the fifth course, 29/34 patients (85%) had achieved a partial remission (12) or a CR/very good partial remission (17). CR of metastases was achieved in 13/32 (41%) and bone marrow was in complete remission in 16/24 patients (67%). Grade 4 neutropenia and/or thrombocytopenia occurred in 100% of HD-TPT/HD-CPM and in 95% of ICE courses, while non-haematological toxicities were manageable. Conclusions: These data indicate that our induction regimen is feasible and well tolerated. A major response rate of 85% with 41% complete metastatic response confirms this regimen as effective induction in high-risk neuroblastoma.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)572-578
Number of pages7
JournalEuropean Journal of Cancer
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2011


  • Children
  • Induction
  • Metastasis
  • Neuroblastoma
  • Remission
  • Topotecan

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research
  • Oncology


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