The treatment of small-round-cell tumors (SRCT) in adult patients remains a challenge to clinicians. In the present study, we analyzed the feasibility and efficacy of high-dose chemotherapy (HDCT) followed by autologous peripheral blood stem-cell rescue as a consolidation therapy exclusively for patients with good disease control through a single regimen of induction chemotherapy and local therapy. Twenty-one patients (12 females, median age 22.0 years) were analyzed, including seven cases with rhabdomyosarcoma (RMS) and 14 cases with Ewing's family tumors (EFT). Overall, survival was 46% and failure-free survival (FFS) was 33% at 3 years. Patients with EFT had better FFS than those with RMS, with an estimated 3-year FFS of 50% (P<0.01). There was a single case of possible treatment-related death and two cases of secondary malignancies. This study cannot conclusively determine the beneficial effects of HDCT for improving treatment outcomes in adult SRCTs due to the small number of subjects. However, study findings suggest that a subgroup of patients with EFT may obtain prolonged survival benefits from this therapy.
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