Pediatric Blood & Cancer: Treatment of Wilms tumor relapsing after initial treatment with vincristine, actinomycin D, and doxorubicin. A report from the National Wilms Tumor Study Group


Objective: We evaluated the use of alternating cycles of cyclophosphamide/etoposide and carboplatin/etoposide in children entered on National Wilms Tumor Study (NWTS)-5 who were diagnosed between August 1, 1995, and May 31, 2002, and who relapsed after chemotherapy with vincristine, actinomycin D, and doxorubicin (VAD) and radiation therapy (DD-4A).

Patients and methods: One hundred three patients who relapsed or had progressive disease after initial VAD chemotherapy and radiation therapy were registered on stratum C of the NWTS-5 Relapse protocol. Twelve patients were not evaluable: five due to insufficient data, six due to major protocol violations, and one for refusal of therapy. Among the 91 remaining patients, 14 with stage V Wilms tumor (WT), 1 with contralateral relapse, and 16 who did not achieve a complete response (CR) to the initial three-drug chemotherapy were not included in this analysis. Relapse treatment included alternating courses of the drug pairs cyclophosphamide/etoposide and carboplatin/etoposide, surgery, and radiation therapy.

Results: The outcomes of 60 patients were analyzed. The lung was the only site of relapse for 33 patients; other sites of relapse included the operative bed, the abdomen, and the liver. Four-year event-free survival (EFS) and overall survival (OS) were 42.3 and 48.0% respectively for all patients and were 48.9 and 52.8% for those who relapsed in the lungs only. Thrombocytopenia was the most frequent toxicity.

Conclusion: These results demonstrate that approximately one-half of children with unilateral WT who relapse after initial treatment with VAD and radiation therapy can successfully retreat.

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