Objective: To evaluate the response rates, survival and toxicity of treatment with antineoplaston A10 and AS2-1 (ANP) in the first 12 children enrolled in our studies diagnosed with incurable recurrent and progressive multicentric glioma.
Patients and methods: The patients' median age was 9 years. Six patients were diagnosed with pilocytic astrocytoma, four with low-grade astrocytoma and one with astrocytoma grade 2. In one case of visual pathway glioma, a biopsy was not performed due to a dangerous location. Patients received ANP intravenously initially and subsequently orally. The average duration of intravenous ANP therapy was 16 months and the average dosage of A10 was 7.95 g/kg/day and of AS2-1 was 0.33 g/kg/day. The average duration of oral ANP was 19 months and the average dosage of A10 and AS2-1 was 0.28 g/kg/day. Responses were assessed by MRI according to the National Cancer Institute's criteria and confirmed by PET scans in some cases.
Results: Complete response was accomplished in 33%, partial response in 25%, and stable disease in 33% of patients, and there was no progressive disease. One patient was non-evaluable due to only 4 weeks of ANP and lack of follow-up scans. One patient who had stable disease discontinued ANP against medical advice and died 4.5 years later. Ten patients are alive and well from 2 to >14 years post-diagnosis. Only one case of serious toxicity of reversible tinnitus, of one day's duration, was described. The study continues with accrual of additional patients.
Conclusion: The results of the present study are favourable in comparison with radiation therapy and chemotherapy. We believe that confirmation of these results through further studies may introduce a new promising treatment for incurable paediatric brain tumours.