Long-term survival of high-risk pediatric patients with primitive neuroectodermal tumors treated with antineoplastons A10 and AS2-1.
Primitive neuroectodermal tumors (PNETs) are usually successfully treated with craniospinal radiation and chemotherapy; however, difficulties with standard treatment can be encountered in very young children, in adult patients at high risk of complication from standard treatment, and in patients with recurrent tumors. Thirteen children, either with recurrent disease or high risk, were treated in phase II studies with antineoplastons (ANP). The median age of patients was 5 years, 7 months (range, 1-11). Medulloblastoma was diagnosed in 8 patients, pineoblastoma in 3 patients, and other PNET in 2 patients. Previous treatments included surgery in 12 patients (1 had biopsy only, suboccipital craniotomy), chemotherapy in 6 patients, and radiation therapy in 6 patients. Six patients had not received prior chemotherapy or radiation. The treatment consisted of intravenous infusions of 2 formulations of ANP, A10 and AS2-1, and was administered for an average of 20 months. The average dosage of A10 was 10.3 g/kg/d and of AS2-1 was 0.38 g/kg/d. Complete response was accomplished in 23%, partial response in 8%, stable disease in 31%, and progressive disease in 38% of cases. Six patients (46%) survived more than 5 years from initiation of ANP; 5 were not treated earlier with radiation therapy or chemotherapy. The serious side effects included single occurrences of fever, granulocytopenia, and anemia. The study is ongoing and accruing additional patients. The percentage of patients' response is lower than for standard treatment of favorable PNET, but long-term survival in poor-risk cases and reduced toxicity makes ANP promising for very young children, patients at high risk of complication of standard therapy, and patients with recurrent tumors.