Pediatric choroid plexus neoplasms

Edward Chow, David A. Reardon, Amit B. Shah, Jesse J. Jenkins, James Langston, Richard L. Heideman, Robert A. Sanford, Larry E. Kun, Thomas E. Merchant

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

64 Scopus citations


Purpose: Choroid plexus tumors (CPT) are rare childhood neoplasms. The relatively small number of reported cases and the controversies surrounding the clinical and pathological classification of these tumors have made it difficult to define a standard of care for these patients. Our intention is to contribute to the body of knowledge of these tumors and further define the role of adjuvant therapy. Methods and Materials: We performed a retrospective review of 14 children with choroid plexus neoplasms referred to St. Jude Children's Research Hospital between October 1985 and December 1987. Ten patients had choroid plexus carcinoma (CPC) based on pathologic criteria and evidence of brain invasion at surgery o leptomeningeal disease (M+); 4 patients had choroid plexus papilloma (CPP). Patients with CPP were initially treated with surgery alone whereas patients with CPC were generally treated with postoperative therapy that included chemotherapy (CT) and/or craniospinal irradiation (CSI) with a focal boost to the primary site. For most patients CT consisted of combinations of cyclophosphamide, etoposide, vincristine, and a platinum agent. The median CSI dose was 35.2 Gy (range 24- 46.2 Gy). The median primary site dose was 55.2 Gy (range 49.6-64 Gy). Results: Seven of the 10 CPC cases presented with leptomeningeal dissemination; two of these patients haw succumbed to disease. Of the 3 patients with M0 status, all are alive with no evidence of disease (NED). The medial time to relapse from the time of surgery was 5.3 mo (range 3-25 mo). Seven CPC patients were treated with gross total resection (GTR). Three of these patients (2 M0, 1 M+) received CT without CSI and are currently NED (27, 69, and 60 mo respectively). One M+ patient progressed on CT and has stable disease after CSI (6 mo), one (M0) received CT and CSI and is NED (120 mo), one (M+) is currently on CT with objective response (3 mo) and one (M+) died of progressive disease (24.5 mo) despite CT and CSI. Three patients with CPC had subtotal resection (STR). One of these patients (M+) received CT and CSI and is NED (23 mo), one (M0) had an elective second resection GTR alone and is currently NED (153 mo), and one (M+) developed progressive disease (13.5 mo) while on CT and died despite CSI. Among the 4 CPP patients, GTR was performed in two; both were NED at 54 and 81 mo. Two patients with CPP (one with focal atypia) were treated with STR initially; both transformed to CPC at 7 and 27 mo, respectively. Both were currently NED following salvage with (1) GTR and CSI alone (98 mo) or (2) STR, CT, and CSI (62 mo). Six of the 12 survivors in this series had significant neuropsychological sequelae. Conclusion: The prognosis of CPP is good for patients treated with GTR. Malignant transformation occurred in 2 CPP patients with less than GTR. Patients with localized CPC who undergo GTR have had a favorable outcome with the addition of chemotherapy or irradiation. CSI may not be routinely indicated in M0 children following GTR. There is evidence that salvage with radiation therapy may be successful following progression or chemotherapy. For patients treated with STR, the use of CT and CSI appears to be necessary.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)249-254
Number of pages6
JournalInternational Journal of Radiation Oncology Biology Physics
Issue number2
StatePublished - May 1999


  • Choroid plexus carcinoma
  • Choroid plexus papilloma
  • Malignant evolution

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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