Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

New chemotherapy regimen prolongs survival in difficult-to-treat childhood brainstem gliomas

26.09.2007
Childhood brainstem gliomas (BSGs) are rare but can be very difficult to treat successfully and they tend to have poor survival rates. However, a team of Spanish researchers have found that a chemotherapy regimen of irinotecan and cisplatin (I/C) produced rapid clinical responses and shrank the tumours by more than 20 percent in all six children enrolled in a clinical trial.

Dr Jaume Mora told the European Cancer Conference (ECCO 14) in Barcelona today (Tuesday) that this was the first time that such a response had been achieved in children with high grade gliomas, while in low grade gliomas the response was comparable with the best achieved by other chemotherapies. All six children were still alive at one year, although the disease had progressed in three children with the most life-threatening tumours. The usual average survival rate for BSGs is between 4-15 months.

Dr Mora, who is head of the department of paediatric oncology at Hospital Sant Joan de Deu, Barcelona, Spain, explained: “The main treatment for BSGs is radiotherapy. Surgery is not really an option because of the way the tumour is situated in life-threatening anatomical structures situated in the brain stem. However, for children the long-term adverse consequences of radiotherapy have meant that doctors have looked to clinical trials to see if chemotherapy could be substituted for radiotherapy. However, most of these trials have failed; at present, many centres use radiation therapy for high-grade gliomas and diffuse intrinsic pontine tumours, the deadliest of all BSGs. For low-grade gliomas in children few combination regimens have shown significant changes in the long-term natural history of this disease: vincristine and carboplatin is the current protocol and was pioneered by the Duke’s University group in the USA. The Italians have tested cisplatin and VP-16 with very good results for low-grade gliomas.”

BSGs are rare, but are amongst the commonest cancers to occur in children aged between about six and ten years old. The cause is unknown and the survival rates are poor: high-grade BSGs (diffuse and non-diffuse intrinsic tumours) are uniformly fatal, while children with low-grade gliomas have a more prolonged survival.

Dr Mora and his team enrolled six children out of 22 with BSGs in their trial. Four children had high-grade gliomas (two diffuse and two non-diffuse) and two had low-grade, mid-brain tumours. Irinotecan and cisplatin was given once a week for four weeks for a total of four cycles. Children with the high-grade tumours were also given anti-angiogenic therapy (bevacizumab) and radiotherapy.

Dr Mora said: “All patients had complete and rapid clinical responses to the I/C regimen. Remarkably, the I/C regimen achieved a reduction in tumour size greater than 20 percent in all the children at the end of the therapy, including those with the worst BSGs, the intrinsic diffuse BSGs. No chemotherapy has ever achieved this grade of early response in high-grade BSGs.”

Between nine and twelve months after the therapy, three of the high-grade tumours started to progress again.

Dr Mora said: “This early response is promising but the high-grade patients eventually progress regardless of the maintenance therapy we have given them. We need to rethink these results and find out how to consolidate better these initial responses.”

The other 16 children with BSGs had received different treatments by the start of the trial and they made up the historical cohort. After an average of 25 months, ten of them (65 percent) were still alive. These results cannot be compared directly with the results from the clinical trial but give an indication of how difficult it is to prolong survival for this disease.

| alfa
Further information:
http://www.ecco-org.eu/News/News/In-the-news/page.aspx/72

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht NIST scientists discover how to switch liver cancer cell growth from 2-D to 3-D structures
17.11.2017 | National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)

nachricht High speed video recording precisely measures blood cell velocity
15.11.2017 | ITMO University

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: A “cosmic snake” reveals the structure of remote galaxies

The formation of stars in distant galaxies is still largely unexplored. For the first time, astron-omers at the University of Geneva have now been able to closely observe a star system six billion light-years away. In doing so, they are confirming earlier simulations made by the University of Zurich. One special effect is made possible by the multiple reflections of images that run through the cosmos like a snake.

Today, astronomers have a pretty accurate idea of how stars were formed in the recent cosmic past. But do these laws also apply to older galaxies? For around a...

Im Focus: Visual intelligence is not the same as IQ

Just because someone is smart and well-motivated doesn't mean he or she can learn the visual skills needed to excel at tasks like matching fingerprints, interpreting medical X-rays, keeping track of aircraft on radar displays or forensic face matching.

That is the implication of a new study which shows for the first time that there is a broad range of differences in people's visual ability and that these...

Im Focus: Novel Nano-CT device creates high-resolution 3D-X-rays of tiny velvet worm legs

Computer Tomography (CT) is a standard procedure in hospitals, but so far, the technology has not been suitable for imaging extremely small objects. In PNAS, a team from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) describes a Nano-CT device that creates three-dimensional x-ray images at resolutions up to 100 nanometers. The first test application: Together with colleagues from the University of Kassel and Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht the researchers analyzed the locomotory system of a velvet worm.

During a CT analysis, the object under investigation is x-rayed and a detector measures the respective amount of radiation absorbed from various angles....

Im Focus: Researchers Develop Data Bus for Quantum Computer

The quantum world is fragile; error correction codes are needed to protect the information stored in a quantum object from the deteriorating effects of noise. Quantum physicists in Innsbruck have developed a protocol to pass quantum information between differently encoded building blocks of a future quantum computer, such as processors and memories. Scientists may use this protocol in the future to build a data bus for quantum computers. The researchers have published their work in the journal Nature Communications.

Future quantum computers will be able to solve problems where conventional computers fail today. We are still far away from any large-scale implementation,...

Im Focus: Wrinkles give heat a jolt in pillared graphene

Rice University researchers test 3-D carbon nanostructures' thermal transport abilities

Pillared graphene would transfer heat better if the theoretical material had a few asymmetric junctions that caused wrinkles, according to Rice University...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Ecology Across Borders: International conference brings together 1,500 ecologists

15.11.2017 | Event News

Road into laboratory: Users discuss biaxial fatigue-testing for car and truck wheel

15.11.2017 | Event News

#Berlin5GWeek: The right network for Industry 4.0

30.10.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

NASA detects solar flare pulses at Sun and Earth

17.11.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

NIST scientists discover how to switch liver cancer cell growth from 2-D to 3-D structures

17.11.2017 | Health and Medicine

The importance of biodiversity in forests could increase due to climate change

17.11.2017 | Studies and Analyses

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>