Texas Anderson Cancer CenterA team of experts led by the University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center seem to have revealed the treatment of a rare pediatric brain tumor. This study suggests a novel standard protocol may possibly improve survival by almost two-fold for pediatric patients with choroid plexus tumors.

Choroid plexus carcinomas are known to be very rare malignant brain tumors which originate in the choroid plexus epithelium. Choroid plexus epithelium is believed to be the gland that produces cerebrospinal fluid.

It was observed that frequently the tumors may block the flow of cerebrospinal fluid. Apparently, this results in pressure building in the brain and perhaps enlarges the skull. It was estimated that it affects nearly 1,500 children across the world every year, occurring more often in infants.

Since this a rare disease, there appears to be no standard treatment protocol for it. However, Wolff and other international experts anticipate in changing that through their studies. Additionally, they have developed a new statistical module for institutions to use which could possibly ensure quality and efficient data from the study. This study was noted to have made use of carboplatinum, etoposide and cyclophosamide in combination with radiation.

The findings of the study revealed that the protocol which consists of three chemotherapy agents and radiation seem to have projected general survival rates of approximately 93% at one year, whereas nearly 82% at five years and 78% at eight years.

“This SIOP 2000 study started 10 years ago and has grown to include more than 100 institutions from more than 20 countries. With the data we have, we can tell which patients are prone to do better and which ones have a poor prognosis. In addition, we’ve established a promising standard protocol for these patients,” says lead author of the study, Johannes Wolff, M.D., professor in the Children’s Cancer Hospital at M. D. Anderson Cancer Center.

Wolff and fellow experts have astonishingly discovered this contradictory to past study which initially showed the significant advantage of whole surgical resection.

“We think the better outcomes had to do with the fact that physicians will prolong chemotherapy treatment if there is residual tumor. If we can prove this hypothesis, this would be an argument for extending treatment in the future,” adds Wolff.

The SIOP 2000 study found that patients who received the severe chemotherapy protocol appear to have alike outcomes in contrast to those with complete resection. Apparently, this procedure reduced their need for surgical treatment.
Wolff was of the opinion that the next step will be to begin an added study which may possibly examine a four-armed chemotherapy protocol. Moreover, this could investigate the likelihood of adding another chemotherapy in order to promote improve survival rates.

The findings of the study have been reported at the 41st Annual Meeting of the International Society of Pediatric Oncology (SIOP).