PURPOSE: The aim of this study was to avoid radiotherapy and to induce an objective response in children with low-grade glioma (LGG) using a simple chemotherapy regimen based on cisplatin and etoposide. PATIENTS AND METHODS: Thirty-four children (median age, 45 months) with unresectable LGG were treated with 10 monthly cycles of cisplatin (30 mg/m(2)/d on days 1 to 3) and etoposide (150 mg/m(2)/d on days 1 to 3). Tumor originated in the visual pathway in 29 patients, in the temporal lobe in two, in the frontal lobe in two, and in the spine in one. Eight children were affected by neurofibromatosis type 1. Objective tumor response and toxicity were evaluated by magnetic resonance imaging and neurologic and functional tests at 3-month intervals. RESULTS: An objective response was obtained in 24 (70%) of 34 patients, whereas the others had stable disease. None of the children were electively irradiated. In 31 previously untreated children, overall survival was 100% and progression-free survival was 78% at 3 years, with a median follow-up of 44 months. Acute toxicity was unremarkable; 28% patients evaluated for acoustic neurotoxicity revealed a loss of perception of high frequencies. CONCLUSION: Cisplatin and etoposide combined treatment is one of the most active regimens for LGG in children and allows avoidance of radiotherapy in the vast majority of patients.
- brain tumor
- low-grade glioma