The aim of the present study was to evaluate the effectiveness of two consecutive nonrandomised treatment programs applied between 1989 and 1999 at the Istituto Nazionale Tumori of Milan in an unselected cohort of 59 children over the age of one with stage 4 neuroblastoma. Both treatment programs consisted of two phases, the induction of the remission phase and the consolidation phase. The induction of the remission phase consisted of intensive chemotherapy, and remained the same throughout the study period. The consolidation phase consisted of sequential hemi-body irradiation (HBI) (10Gy per session, 6 weeks apart) in the first period (1988-June 1994) and sequential high-dose cyclophosphamide, etoposide, mitoxantrone + L-PAM and autologous haemopoietic stem cell transplantation in the second (July 1994-1999). Intention-to-treat analysis revealed a significantly better outcome for patients treated with the second program, the 5-year event-free survival probability being 0.12 for program 1 and 0.31 for program 2 (P = 0.03). This finding led us to conclude that sequential HBI is useless as consolidation treatment. The high-dose chemotherapy adopted in the second program enabled a proportion of patients to obtain long-term survival but, since the clinical results remain unsatisfactory, new treatment strategies are warranted.
- Autologous stem cell transplantation
- Sequential hemi-body irradiation
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research