Background/Purpose: In spite of many different kinds of chemotherapy for neuroblastoma, the prognosis for advanced neuroblastoma remains unsatisfactory. In particular, the outcome of advanced neuroblastoma with high copies of the N-myc gene tend to be poor. Therefore, the new high-dosage combined chemotherapy regimens for advanced neuroblastoma based in part on the N-myc amplification status has been utilized in the Kyushu area of Japan since 1991. This study aims to investigate whether these new regimens based in part on N-myc amplification have improved the survival rate of stage III and stage IV patients in comparison with the old regimens. Methods: Between 1983 and 1995, 77 patients over 1 year of age and with stage III or IV neuroblastoma were registered in the Kyushu Area. Between 1983 and 1990, 49 patients received 1 of 2 combined chemotherapy regimens consisting of cyclophosphamide, cisplatin plus VM-26, and Adriamycin plus DTIC. Since 1991, two new regimens (New A1 and A3) have been administered based on the N-myc amplification status in a total of 28 patients. The New A1 regimen, which consists of cyclophosphamide, cisplatin, Adriamycin, and VP-16 has been administered in cases of less than 10 copies of N-myc, whereas the A3 regimen, consisting of a higher dose of cyclophosphamide, cisplatin, Adriamycin, and VP-16, has been administered in cases of more than 10 copies of N-myc. The survival rate was then compared between the old regimens and the new regimens. Results: The 3-year survival rate (61.5%) for patients treated by the new regimens was significantly higher than that (32.7%) for patients treated by the old regimens (P < .01). Regarding the 24 cases of more than 10 copies of N-myc, the 3-year survival rate (35.9%) of the 13 patients treated by the A3 regimen was higher than that (0%) of the 11 patients treated by the old regimens (P < .05). However, in the 19 stage IV patients treated by the new regimens, the 3-year survival rate (11.1%) of the 9 cases of more than 10 copies was significantly lower than that (77.8%) of the 10 cases of less than 10 copies of N-myc (P < .01). Conclusions: These results suggest that high-dose combined chemotherapy based in part on the N-myc amplification status significantly improved the prognosis of patients with advanced neuroblastoma. However, stage IV patients with N-myc amplification still require a more effective treatment modality. Copyright (C) 2000 by W.B. Saunders Company.
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