Bridge therapy" benefits children with high-risk neuroblastoma
Approximately half of children with neuroblastoma, that is a childhood cancer that develops from immature nerve cells—have a form that indicates a high likelihood of recurrence. New findings published online in CANCER, showed that a "bridge therapy" between induction and consolidation treatments may benefit patients with this high-risk neuroblastoma.
To examine the benefits of a bridge therapy strategy for patients with high-risk neuroblastoma whose cancer was still evident after induction therapy, researchers examined data from 201 patients diagnosed with neuroblastoma who had residual disease after completing induction therapy. Patients were treated in three groups with different approaches.
No bridge therapy prior to consolidation therapy, bridge therapy prior to consolidation therapy, and additional post-induction therapy without consolidation therapy were the three groups. The investigators were interested in evaluating if the addition of bridge therapy prior to consolidation with stem cell transplant improved the event-free survival, or the time after treatment that cancer did not come back or get worse in patients with residual neuroblastoma at the end of induction therapy.
Among patients with stable cancer at metastatic sites after induction therapy, those who received bridge therapy had significantly improved event-free survival compared with those who directly underwent consolidation therapy.
Patients treated with post-induction therapy who did not receive consolidation therapy (group 3) experienced inferior event-free survival than patients in groups 1 or 2; however, those in group 3 with no signs of metastatic cancer following post-induction therapy had significantly better 3-year event-free survival than those with residual metastatic disease. Hence it was concluded that, the bridge therapy may benefit children suffering from neuroblastoma.
Dr. Nandita Mohan
BDS, MDS( Pedodontics and Preventive Dentistry)