Medline: 1634920

Journal of Clinical Oncology 10(8):1299-1304, 1992.

Infants with neuroblastoma and regional lymph node metastases have a favorable outlook after limited postoperative chemotherapy: a Pediatric Oncology Group study.

Castleberry RP, Shuster JJ, Altshuler G, et al.


Infants less than or equal to 1 year of age with neuroblastoma (NB) have a favorable outlook with minimal to moderate therapy. Patients with complete or partial removal of the primary tumor but positive intracavitary lymph nodes (Pediatric Oncology Group [POG] Stage C) have a higher risk for recurrent disease. To determine the importance of distinguishing infants with POG Stage C NB from those with POG Stage B disease and to assess the efficacy and toxicity of treating POG Stage C infants with limited, postoperative chemotherapy, a study was conducted by the POG.

Patients and Methods:
Forty-four eligible POG Stage C infants received cyclophosphamide 150 mg/m2 orally on days 1 to 7 and Adriamycin (doxorubicin; Adria Laboratories, Columbus, OH) 35 mg/m2 intravenously (IV) on day 8 (CYC/ADR), every 3 weeks for five courses followed by second-look surgery. No continuation therapy was given if surgical and pathologic complete response (CR) was achieved. Secondary therapy with five courses of cisplatin 90 mg/m2 on day 1 followed by teniposide (VM-26) 100 mg/m2 on day 3 (CDP/VM) was given to infants with gross residual tumor after CYC/ADR and second-look surgery.

Thirty-four infants achieved CR after CYC/ADR alone, three after CYC/ADR and second-look surgery, two after CYC/ADR, surgery, and maintenance therapy, and two after alternative treatment with CDP/VM (total CR rate, 42 of 44). The 3-year survival and disease-free survival are both 93%. Toxicity was nominal.

Infants with POG Stage C NB have a favorable outlook, which is similar to infants with POG Stage B NB; the surgical staging procedure for distinguishing these infant subsets may not be necessary. Future studies should focus on the reduction of treatment toxicity and efficacy maintenance, and address methods to identify infants at risk for failure.

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Dr. G. Quade