Purpose: Chiasmatic-hypothalamic gliomas are not amenable to surgical resection and therefore are treated with either radiotherapy or chemotherapy. Here we report the use of etoposide (VP-16) administered on a chronic oral schedule as a novel chemotherapeutic approach. Patients and Methods: Fourteen patients, aged 2 to 15 years, were treated with VP-16 after clinical and neuroradiographic tumor progression. Thirteen patients had received prior radiotherapy, and 12 received prior nitrosourea-based chemotherapy. VP-16 was administered orally, each cycle consisting of 50 mg/m2/d on days 1 through 21 and 36 through 57. Clinical and neuroradiographic evaluations were performed during days 58 through 72 before initiation of each cycle of therapy. Complete blood counts were performed weekly. Results: Treatment- related complications included the following: partial alopecia (seven patients); diarrhea (six); weight loss (five); neutropenia (four); and thrombocytopenia (four). Three patients required transfusion (three RBC; two platelet), and one patient required antibiotic treatment of neutropenic fever. There were no treatment-related deaths. Fourteen patients were assessable, five of whom demonstrated a radiographic response (one complete and four partial); and three patients demonstrated stable disease, with a median duration of response of 8 months. Conclusion: Chronic oral VP-16 is well tolerated, produces modest toxicity, and has apparent activity in this small cohort of patients with recurrent chiasmatic-hypothalamic gliomas.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research