The role of hypofractionation radiotherapy for diffuse intrinsic brainstem glioma in children: a pilot study.
until further notice
SourceInternational Journal of Radiation Oncology, Biology, Physics, 73, 3, (2009), pp. 722-726
Article / Letter to editor
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International Journal of Radiation Oncology, Biology, Physics
SubjectDCN 1: Perception and Action; ONCOL 2: Age-related aspects of cancer; ONCOL 3: Translational research; ONCOL 2: Age-related aspects of cancer
PURPOSE: Most children with a diffuse intrinsic brainstem glioma will die within 1 year after diagnosis. To reduce patient burden, we investigated the feasibility of a radical hypofractionation radiotherapy schedule, given over 3 weeks, as an alternative to the standard regimen (30 fractions over 6 weeks). METHODS AND MATERIALS: Nine children, ages 3-13, were treated by 13 fractions of 3 Gy (n = 8) or 6 fractions of 5.5 Gy (n = 1) given over 3 weeks. All patients had symptoms for <or=3 months and >or=2 signs of the neurologic triad (long tract signs, ataxia, cranial nerve deficit). Bilateral involvement of the pons (n = 8), encasement of the basilar artery (n = 7) and extension into the cerebellar peduncle (n = 6) was visible on magnetic resonance imaging. RESULTS: Symptom improvement occurred in all patients within 2 weeks after start of radiotherapy. At a mean follow-up time of 15 months, 7 patients have died. Median time to progression and overall survival was 4.9 and 8.6 months, respectively. Median time to death after progression was 3.6 months. No Grade 3 or 4 toxicity was observed. In a recently published review of clinical trials, median time to progression, overall survival, and time between progression and death ranged from 5.0-8.8, 7.0-16, and 1.0-4.5 months, respectively, with more aggressive regimens. CONCLUSION: This radical hypofractionation radiotherapy regimen for children with diffuse intrinsic brainstem glioma is feasible and associated with no Grade 3 or 4 toxicities. With a minimal overall treatment time, it offers quick symptom relief and outcome results within the range of published data.
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