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David C. Crafts, Victor A. Levin, Michael S. Edwards, Tana L. Pischer, and Charles B. Wilson

✓ Seventeen patients with recurrent medulloblastoma were treated with a combination of three drugs: procarbazine, CCNU, and vincristine (PCV). Tumor recurrence was documented at varying periods following surgery and radiotherapy. Among 16 evaluable patients, ten showed a response to PCV on the basis of subjective neurological improvement and a decrease in tumor size by radiological criteria. Five patients were designated as having stable disease on the basis of no change in neurological status and tumor size. One patient showed uninterrupted progression of disease. The median time to progression for all patients was 45 weeks.

Significant myelotoxicity, exacerbated by prior spinal irradiation, compromised therapy. After an initial response, it was often necessary to reduce the higher doses of CCNU and procarbazine that caused concomitant bone-marrow toxicity; as a consequence of the lowered doses, tumor progression was then frequently observed. The authors conclude that PCV is an effective form of palliative therapy for recurrent medulloblastoma.

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Victor A. Levin, David C. Crafts, David M. Norman, Paul B. Hoffer, Jean-Paul Spire, and Charles B. Wilson

✓ The authors describe their criteria for evaluating brain-tumor patients, and present a numerical rating scale devised to designate response to testing. They discuss the reliability of test combinations that permit accurate prediction of response or deterioration during therapy in their experience with 100 patients treated on the Chemotherapy Service at the Brain Tumor Research Center, University of California, San Francisco School of Medicine. Specifically, the paper summarizes the predictive value of the neurological examination, radionuclide scintiscan, computerized tomographic brain scan (CT scan), and electroencephalogram (EEG), in the determination of response (tumor regression) or deterioration (tumor growth) during brain-tumor chemotherapy and chemotherapy-radiotherapy.

By retrospective analysis, the neurological examination, radionuclide scintiscan, and CT scan were of equal value individually as tests to predict response to therapy. However, the prognostic values of the neurological examination or the radionuclide scintiscan proved moderately superior to the CT scan in predicting deterioration during therapy. Under circumstances whereby a neurological examination, radionuclide scintiscan, and CT scan were all performed during the same testing session, and steroid dosage was carefully monitored, two of the three tests accurately predicted deterioration in 65% of patients, and response to therapy in 82% of patients. Two of the three tests correctly established deterioration in the remaining 35% of patients, and response in the remaining 18% of patients, when the two positively correlated tests had occurred within a mean period of 7 weeks.

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John Calogero, David C. Crafts, Charles B. Wilson, Edwin B. Boldrey, Alan Rosenberg, and K. Jean Enot

✓The authors present three patients who, after excision and irradiation of their brain tumors, were treated with BCNU for recurrence. All three patients responded well and now are without evidence of tumor, 37, 30, and 36 months after BCNU was stopped. Although these patients represent only a small fraction of those treated with BCNU, they indicate the potential role of chemotherapy in the management of glial tumors.