Sustained Survival Benefit in Recurrent Medulloblastoma by a Metronomic Antiangiogenic Regimen: A Nonrandomized Controlled Trial

JAMA Oncol. 2023 Dec 1;9(12):1688-1695. doi: 10.1001/jamaoncol.2023.4437.


Importance: Medulloblastoma recurrence in patients who have previously received irradiation has a dismal prognosis and lacks a standard salvage regimen.

Objective: To evaluate the response rate of pediatric patients with medulloblastoma recurrence using an antiangiogenic metronomic combinatorial approach (Medulloblastoma European Multitarget Metronomic Anti-Angiogenic Trial [MEMMAT]).

Design, setting, and participants: This phase 2, investigator-initiated, multicenter nonrandomized controlled trial assessed 40 patients with relapsed or refractory medulloblastoma without a ventriculoperitoneal shunt who were younger than 20 years at original diagnosis. Patients were enrolled between April 1, 2014, and March 31, 2021.

Interventions: Treatment consisted of daily oral thalidomide, fenofibrate, celecoxib, and alternating 21-day cycles of low-dose (metronomic) oral etoposide and cyclophosphamide, supplemented by intravenous bevacizumab and intraventricular therapy consisting of alternating etoposide and cytarabine.

Main outcomes and measures: The primary end point was response after 6 months of antiangiogenic metronomic therapy. Secondary end points included progression-free survival (PFS), overall survival (OS), and quality of life. Adverse events were monitored to assess safety.

Results: Of the 40 patients (median [range] age at treatment start, 10 [4-17] years; 25 [62.5%] male) prospectively enrolled, 23 (57.5%) achieved disease control after 6 months of treatment, with a response detected in 18 patients (45.0%). Median OS was 25.5 months (range, 10.9-40.0 months), and median PFS was 8.5 months (range, 1.7-15.4 months). Mean (SD) PFS at both 3 and 5 years was 24.6% (7.9%), while mean (SD) OS at 3 and 5 years was 43.6% (8.5%) and 22.6% (8.8%), respectively. No significant differences in PFS or OS were evident based on molecular subgroup analysis or the number of prior recurrences. In patients demonstrating a response, mean (SD) overall 5-year PFS was 49.7% (14.3%), and for patients who remained progression free for the first 12 months of treatment, mean (SD) 5-year PFS was 66.7% (16.1%). Treatment was generally well tolerated. Grade 3 to 4 treatment-related adverse events included myelosuppression, infections, seizures, and headaches. One heavily pretreated patient with a third recurrence died of secondary acute myeloid leukemia.

Conclusions and relevance: This feasible and well-tolerated MEMMAT combination regimen demonstrated promising activity in patients with previously irradiated recurrent medulloblastoma. Given these results, this predominantly oral, well-tolerated, and outpatient treatment warrants further evaluation.

Trial registration: Identifier: NCT01356290.

Publication types

  • Controlled Clinical Trial
  • Multicenter Study

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Metronomic
  • Adolescent
  • Antineoplastic Combined Chemotherapy Protocols / adverse effects
  • Brain Neoplasms* / drug therapy
  • Cerebellar Neoplasms* / drug therapy
  • Cerebellar Neoplasms* / etiology
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Etoposide
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Medulloblastoma* / drug therapy
  • Medulloblastoma* / etiology
  • Quality of Life


  • Etoposide

Associated data