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Metronomic Chemotherapy for Pediatric Refractory Solid Tumors: A Retrospective Single-Center Study

In the last issue of the J Pediatr Hematol Oncol, Yukari Sakurai, Fuminori Iwasaki, Ayana Hirose, Naoya Matsumoto, Naoyuki Miyagawa, Dai Keino, Tomoko Yokosuka, Satoshi Hamanoue, Masakatsu Yanagimachi, Masae Shiomi, Shoko Goto, Mio Tanaka , Yukichi Tanaka, Kumiko Nozawa, Hiroaki Goto from the divisions of Division of Hematology/Oncology, of Pathology and of Radiology of the Children’s Medical Center Yokohama, Japan have just published an original article entitled : Metronomic Chemotherapy for Pediatric Refractory Solid Tumors: A Retrospective Single-Center Study. reporting their monocentric experience


Metronomic chemotherapy (MC) is based on chronic administration of chemotherapeutic agents at minimally toxic doses without prolonged drug-free breaks, that inhibits tumor angiogenesis and induces tumor dormancy. This study aimed to determine the efficacy of MC for pediatric refractory solid tumors. We retrospectively analyzed the data of pediatric patients with relapsed/refractory solid tumors who received treatment, including low-dose continuous administration of anticancer drugs, at our institute. Of the 18 patients, the disease statuses at the initiation of MC were complete remission (n=2), partial remission/stable disease (n=5), and progressive disease (n=11). The overall survival rate was 61% at 12 months and 34% at 24 months, and the progression-free survival rate was 21% at 12 and 24 months. Although only 5 of the 18 patients showed certain tumor regression or maintained remission, tumors that stabilized, maintained remission/stable disease, and showed certain advantages in terms of overall survival rate, even if limited to progressive disease. Approximately half of the patients demonstrated temporal tumor stabilization and improved survival time. Overall, previous reports and the present study support the conclusion that MC has the potential to play an important role in pediatric cancer treatment during the advanced stage.

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