CNS germinoma: Disease control and long-term functional outcome for 12 children treated with craniospinal irradiation

Thomas E. Merchant, Scot H. Sherwood, Raymond K. Mulhern, Susan R. Rose, Stephen J. Thompson, Robert A. Sanford, Larry E. Kun

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

102 Scopus citations


Purpose: To provide evidence that radiation therapy alone in the form of craniospinal irradiation (CSI) and a boost to the primary site of disease provides effective disease control and limited additional morbidity for patients with CNS germinoma. Methods and Materials: Twelve patients with a median age of 12 years (range 9-16 years) with CNS germinoma were treated with CSI (median 25.6 Gy, range 23.4-32 Gy) and a boost to the primary site of disease (50.4 Gy, range 45-54 Gy) between January 1987 and June 1998. All patients were biopsied prior to radiation therapy and none received chemotherapy. No patients were lost to follow-up and the majority had long-term (> 45 month) pre- and postirradiation endocrine and psychology assessment.Results: All 12 patients are alive and no failures have occurred with a median follow-up of 69 months (range 14-143 months). Preirradiation endocrine deficiencies were present in 6 of 6 suprasellar tumors and 1 of 6 pineal tumors; with follow-up there was no substantial difference between age and gender adjusted pre- and postirradiation stature and weight. With long-term follow-up, there were no significant differences between pre- and postirradiation full-scale, verbal, and performance IQ scores. Conclusions: This study confirms the ability of radiation therapy alone to achieve disease control with a high rate of success in pediatric patients and demonstrates that the treatment toxicity faced by these patients may be less than anticipated. Because these patients present with substantial preexisting morbidity at diagnosis and may be of an age where the potential for radiation-related side effects is relatively small, the superiority of treatment alternatives may be difficult to prove. Copyright (C) 2000 Elsevier Science Inc.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1171-1176
Number of pages6
JournalInternational Journal of Radiation Oncology Biology Physics
Issue number5
StatePublished - Mar 15 2000


  • CNS neoplasms
  • Germinoma
  • Pediatrics
  • Radiotherapy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiation
  • Oncology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Cancer Research


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