Medline: 7799011

The abstract Journal of Clinical Oncology 13(1): 112-123, 1995. is available online.

The fulltext Journal of Clinical Oncology 13(1): 112-123, 1995. may be available online for subscribers.

Randomized phase III trial in childhood high-grade astrocytoma comparing vincristine, lomustine, and prednisone with the eight-drugs-in-1-day regimen.

Finlay JL, Boyett JM, Yates AJ, et al.


In a previous randomized trial, the addition of adjuvant chemotherapy to postoperative radiotherapy proved beneficial in the treatment of childhood high-grade astrocytomas. The present study tests the hypothesis that an eight-drug adjuvant chemotherapy regimen would improve survival in such children compared with the three-drug regimen of the prior study.

Patients and Methods:
Between April 1985 and May 1990, patients between the ages of 18 months and 21 years with newly diagnosed high-grade astrocytomas were eligible for this study, as determined by the treating institution's histopathologic diagnosis. Treatment consisted of postoperative local-field radiotherapy and adjuvant chemotherapy, either lomustine (CCNU), vincristine, and prednisone (control regimen) or eight-drugs-in-1-day chemotherapy (experimental regimen). Two cycles of postoperative preirradiation chemotherapy were administered in the experimental regimen. Patients were evaluated radiographically every 3 months after irradiation.

Eighty-five eligible patients were randomized to the control regimen and 87 to the experimental regimen. The progression-free survival (PFS) and overall survival (OS) at 5 years were 33% (SE = 5%) and 36% (SE = 6%), respectively. There was no statistical difference in outcome between the two chemotherapy regimens. In patients with confirmed diagnoses of anaplastic astrocytoma (AA) or glioblastoma multiforme (GBM), anaplastic astrocytoma, greater than 90% resection, and nonmidline tumor location were characteristics predictive of an improved PFS. There was a difference in toxicity between the two chemotherapeutic regimens, with greater myelosuppression and hearing loss in the experimental regimen. Tumor recurrence occurred primarily within the primary tumor site.

There is no benefit to the treatment of high-grade astrocytomas in children with eight-drugs-in-1-day chemotherapy compared with CCNU, vincristine, and prednisone. Extent of tumor resection and histopathologic diagnosis are significant prognostic variables. The overall outcome for children with high-grade astrocytomas remains poor.

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