✓ Therapeutic results in 17 cases of alpha-fetoprotein (AFP)-secreting tumors of the central nervous system are reported. Twelve of the patients were male and five female. The patients' ages ranged from 5 years to 25 years (mean 13.6 years). The tumors originated in the pineal region in 10 cases, in the suprasellar region in four cases, and in both regions in one case; of the other two tumors, one originated in the basal ganglia and one in the sacrococcygeal region. Extraneural metastases or subarachnoid dissemination occurred in seven cases. Increased AFP titer in the serum or cerebrospinal fluid was verified in 13 cases. The patients were divided into two groups: those treated before (Group A) and those treated after (Group B) the introduction in 1980 of cisplatin as a chemotherapeutic agent. All seven Group A patients died, even after extensive therapy consisting of surgery, radiotherapy, and chemotherapy (ACNU or adriamycin) in some of the cases. The mean survival time following diagnosis for Group A was 23.7 months. Six of the 10 Group B patients died an average of 25.8 months after diagnosis; however, the other four were still alive and well an average of 25.3 months after diagnosis. The tumors responded well to chemotherapy consisting of cisplatin either alone or combined with bleomycin and vinblastine. The initial response rate to treatment in Group B was 100% and five cases had a complete remission, verified by computerized tomography or the serum AFP level. Once the tumor recurred, the response to cisplatin was markedly decreased. It is suggested that an effective therapy must still be sought for recurrent tumors.
Yoshihisa Kida, Tatsuya Kobayashi, Jun Yoshida, Kyouzou Kato and Naoki Kageyama
Tatsuya Kobayashi, Naoki Kageyama, Yoshihisa Kida, Jun Yoshida, Naoki Shibuya and Kazuhiko Okamura
✓ Clinical characteristics of six cases of germinoma involving a unilateral basal ganglion and thalamus are summarized. The incidence was estimated as 10% of all intracranial germinomas. The average age at the onset was 10.5 years. The sex incidence showed a male dominance. The clinical course was slowly progressive, and the average duration between onset and diagnosis was 2 years 5 months. Common symptoms and signs were hemiparesis in all cases, fever of unknown origin and eye symptoms in most, mental deterioration and psychiatric signs in three, and convulsions, pubertas praecox, and diabetes insipidus in two. Signs of increased intracranial pressure were found in only two cases in the later state of the disease. Early diagnosis is difficult because of nonspecific symptomatology and slow progression. Carotid angiography and pneumoencephalography showed abnormal findings compatible with basal ganglia and thalamic tumors, but not specific to germinoma. Ipsilateral cortical atrophy and ventricular dilatation might be significant findings. Radioisotope scanning was useful. Computerized tomography scans were the best method of detecting the location and nature of this tumor, and repeat scans showed response to radiation therapy.