Additional References / Reviews

Dangers of radiation

Chemotherapy makes cancer worse worse/


Vitamin C

Long-term survivors: The late effects of therapy

NCI: Childhood cancer

NHS References

Packer et al: The largest clinical trial on medulloblastoma (2006)

Background provided by NHS: Extracted from Bodian & Lason (1942)

Medulloblastoma treated with no additional therapy will recur. There is very little information about this, because the standard therapy has been to give radiotherapy, chemotherapy, or both, for over fifty years. Medulloblastoma was a universally fatal condition before this. Early reports (from as far back as 1942) recognized that survival for more than a few months without radiotherapy was very rare. 17 patients who did not have radiotherapy in one series survived for:

<1 month 12 cases

1-2 months 2

2-3 1

3-4 1

4-5 1


Because of these very early studies radiation therapy became an important part of therapy. It was recognized that radiation has bad effects on people, but the consequences of not using this treatment were that every patient died of disease. No doctor would advocate a “wait and see” approach to managing medulloblastoma.



Bodian and Lason:  1940s study


On page 375 of the paper by Bodian and Lason, they describe a group of 36 patients with medulloblastoma. Four had survived at the time of the paper, but none had reached more than one year from diagnosis. There were 6 others who had received radiotherapy, and these children survived for up to 2 years. There were 17 who received no radiotherapy, shown in the table, who survived for 1 month (12 children), 1 month (2 children), 2 months (1), 3 months (1) and 5 months (1). 

Bodian and Lason: Full 1940s study Improvements in Radiotherapy: 1946-1975 Furter Notes: Percival Bailey