Purpose: The purpose of this study was to determine the clinical outcome for pediatric patients with peripheral neuroepithelioma treated with combined modality therapy and followed long enough to account for late relapses.
Patients and methods: Fifteen patients, ages 3 3/12 to 19 10/12 years, with peripheral neuroepithelioma (median follow-up 91 months) were diagnosed at The Children's Hospital, Denver, Colorado over the period 1980-1989. All of these malignancies originated in the soft tissues. A critical review of these cases was performed with particular consideration given to the site and stage of the tumor and to the radiographic findings at presentation. Thirteen patients had bulk (> 5 cm in the greatest dimension) or metastatic disease. Four patients had primary tumors involving the chest wall. All patients received chemotherapy, which included at least doxorubicin, vincristine, and cyclophosphamide. Definitive surgical resections were performed on 13 of 15 patients.
Results: Five patients relapsed. Three were late relapses 24-44 months after diagnosis. Three of the five patients who relapsed had chest wall primaries. There were three deaths in this series due to peripheral neuroepithelioma and one due to sepsis. The overall survival was 68.5%, and the recurrence-free, survival 55.2%. Two patients with pulmonary relapses were treated with surgery and intensive chemotherapy and remain free of disease > 51 months following recurrence.
Conclusions: Combined treatment modalities appear to be important for optimal outcome. This series represents the first report of favorable outcome of peripheral neuroepithelioma using a series with follow-up that is long enough to account for late relapses.