[Tumours in newborns and infants up to three months of life. One institution experience].

Med Wieku Rozwoj 2006 Jul-Sep;10(3 Pt 1):711-23

Klinika Onkologii, Instytut Pomnik Centrum Zdrowia Dziecka, Al. Dzieci Polskich 20, 04-730 Warszawa, Poland.

Introduction: Newborns and infants up to three months of life are a specific group of population in paediatric oncology due to immaturity of tissues and organs and rarity of neoplastic diseases in this group of patients (pts). There are no strict therapeutic procedures established for these children. THE AIM of our study was to examine distribution of tumours in newborns and infants up to 3 months of age treated in our institution and to present our own experience in the treatment of these patients.

Material And Methods: Medical records of 71 pts (37 boys and 34 girls) treated from 1996 to 2004 were reviewed. Distribution of tumour types in newborns and babies from 1 to 3 months of age was analyzed separately. Due to similar growth pattern, response to treatment and it's side effects in newborns and small infants, treatment results were evaluated for the whole group.

Results: there were 50 newborns. The most common diagnosis in this group was germ cell tumours (GCT) which constituted 60% of all tumours, amongst them 52% were mature teratomas (MT). The second most common was neuroblastoma (NBL) 22%. There were also 3 cases of soft tissue sarcomas (STS), 2 central nervous system tumours (CNS), 2 retinoblastoma (RB), 2 hepatoblastoma (HB). In the group of 21 babies aged 1-3 months NBL was the commonest (37%) followed by RB, CNS tumours (14% of each) HB and MT (10% of each) and Wilms tumour (WT) and immature teratoma (IT) each 5%. Surgery alone was performed in 48 pts. It concerned pts with MT--28, IT--3 pts, yolk sac tumour (YST)--1 pt and malignant tumours (stage I and II): 8-NBL, 2-CNS tumours, 2 STS, 3-HB, 1-WT. Forty two pts from this group are alive. Six pts died: 2 from surgical complications, 1 from sepsis, 1 of congenital heart defect and 1 from unknown reason at the age of 18 months. It was a patient with severe infantile cerebral palsy. One pt died of disease--relapse of yolk sac tumour, 2 years 4 months after surgery of MT. Eleven pts underwent combined treatment of chemotherapy and surgery: 5 with stage III and IV NBL, 6 with other tumours. One pt with STS at the age of 1 yr 6 months was the tumour bed irradiated after surgery for microscopic tumour residual. Four pts are alive, 4 with NBL and 5 with other tumours. Two pts died from disease: one with NBL and one with IT. Chemotherapy alone was administered to 7 pts in whom local advancement of disease enabled surgery and to pts with RBL. Three out of 7 pts are alive all with RBL. Four pts died: 3 from disease, 1 from infectious complications. Four pts with NBL (2 stage IV and 2 stage IVS) were treated with irradiation to the liver only. Two pts (st. IV) died and 2 (st. IVS) pts are alive. One pt relapsed at age of 2 yrs 3 mths, probably at the primary site which was not visualized at primary diagnosis. One pt, critically ill, died before any treatment. Fifty six out of 70 pts (80%) are alive with a follow up from 1 year to 9 yrs 11 months (median- 4 yrs 4 months). Fourteen pts died (20%), 8 from disease and 6 of other reasons.

Conclusions: 1. GCT and neuroblastoma are the most common tumours in newborns and infants up to 3 months of age. 2. Newborns and small infants with advanced neoplastic disease, similarly to older children can be cured with chemotherapy. 3. Individual approach is warranted in newborns and small infants and treatment should be carried out in specialized centres. 4. All patients who completed treatment of any tumour type should be followed up by a pediatric oncologist.

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May 2007
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