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Cisplatin/vincristine chemotherapy for hypothalamic/visual pathway astrocytomas in young children

, : Cisplatin/vincristine chemotherapy for hypothalamic/visual pathway astrocytomas in young children. Journal of Neuro-Oncology 37(3): 263-270

Hypothalamic/visual pathway astrocytomas in children are usually quiescent, but certain cases contain aggressive neoplasms that cause progressive neurological and visual deterioration. Radiotherapy is not recommended in young children because of its adverse effects later in life. This report describes the efficacy of a chemotherapeutic regimen. Four young children with hypothalamic/visual pathway astrocytoma, with a mean of 18 months of age at diagnosis, were treated with chemotherapy. Three patients had diencephalic syndrome at the disease's onset. Three patients with pilocytic astrocytoma were histologically verified, and another infant was clinically diagnosed. A combination chemotherapy using cisplatin and vincristine was administered in a total of 8 cycles in 3 children and 4 in one child. One patient who demonstrated renal insufficiency after 4 cycles of this regimen was treated with additional 4 cycles using carboplatin instead of cisplatin. The acute and subacute hematologic and otologic toxicities were mild, and a transient renal insufficiency in a child during chemotherapy improved. After chemotherapy, tumor regression was documented in 3 patients, and the disease was observed to be stable in one patient with an evidence of intratumoral necrosis on MRI. Three patients showed neurological and endocrinological improvements. These results suggest that this regimen is feasible in young children and may be useful as a first-line treatment for hypothalamic/visual pathway astrocytomas, which in turn may allow potentially deleterious irradiation on the maturing brain to be deferred until the disease progresses.


PMID: 9524084

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