High dose chemotherapy helps combat neuroblastoma

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Published: 17 Jun 2011
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Prof Ruth Ladenstein - University of Vienna, Austria
Prof Ruth Ladenstein explains how nearly half of children given high-dose intensive chemotherapy of busulphan and melphalan were able to successfully battle high-risk neuroblastoma. Before receiving the different chemotherapy regimens, all the patients underwent induction chemotherapy regimens and surgery to remove residual tumour. They were then treated with either of the two regimens being studied and then went to the radiology suite and received 21 Gray doses of radiation. After three years of treatment, 49% of children treated with a high dose combination of busulphan and melphalan achieved event-free survival compared with 33% of children taking a standard chemotherapy regimen of carboplatin, etoposide and melphalan. Overall survival was 60% for children treated with busulphan and melphalan and 48% for children who received the three-drug combination.