The aim of this study was to determine the outcome for patients with Chang stage M2-3 medulloblastoma (MB) treated with surgery and pre-radiotherapy (RT) chemotherapy (CT). Between 1992 and 2000, 68 patients aged 2.8-16.4 years (median 7.8 years) with M2-3 MB were treated with CT comprising vincristine, etoposide, carboplatin and cyclophosphamide. For 61 patients, CT was followed by craniospinal RT 35 Gy/21 fractions with a posterior fossa (PF) boost, 20 Gy/12 fractions. Twenty-four (35%) irradiated patients received a metastatic boost (mean dose to metastases 47.4 Gy, range 40.0-55.1 Gy). With 7.2-years of median follow-up, overall survival (OS) rates at 3 and 5 years were 50.0% (95% Confidence Interval (CI): 38.1-61.9%) and 43.9% (95% CI: 32.0-55.7%), respectively, event-free survival (EFS) rates at 3 and 5 years were 39.7% (95% CI: 28.1-51.3%) and 34.7% (95% CI: 23.2-46.2%), respectively. Univariate analysis did not demonstrate an impact of age, gender, M stage, extent of resection, RT duration or metastatic boost. For patients commencing RT within 110 days of surgery, EFS was significantly (P=0.04) worse than for those who commenced RT later than this. Response to pre-RT CT was assessable from institutional reports for 44 (65%) patients, and 17 (39%) had a complete response (CR), 15 (34%) a partial response (PR), 4 (9%) stable disease (SD) and 8 (18%) progression. Although CT improved outcome for M0-1 patients in the primitive neuroectodermal tumour (PNET-3) randomised study, and resulted in a high response rate in this study, there has been no apparent improvement in outcome for M2-3 patients when compared with earlier multi-institutional series. Newer approaches such as more intensive CT and RT need to be explored.