Supratentorial malignant gliomas in childhood: A single institution perspective

Richard L. Heideman, John Kuttesch, Amar J. Gajjar, Andrew W. Walter, Jesse J. Jenkins, Yulan Li, Robert A. Sanford, Larry E. Kun

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

69 Scopus citations


BACKGROUND. A retrospective study evaluated the clinical characteristics, prognostic factors, and outcome of patients with newly diagnosed supratentorial malignant gliomas treated with preirradiation chemotherapy. METHODS. Of 41 patients with supratentorial malignant gliomas accrued between 1984-1994, all had neuroimaging documentation of the extent of resection and 37 had complete neuraxis staging prior to treatment; 80% were treated with one of a variety of neoadjuvant chemotherapy regimens. RESULTS. Thirteen patients had anaplastic astrocytoma (AA), 25 had glioblastoma multiforme (GBM), and 3 had anaplaatic oligodendroglioma. Gross total resection (GTR) was performed in 10 patients, subtotal resection (STR) in 22 patients, and biopsy (Bx) alone in 9 patients. For the entire group the 3-year overall and progression free survivals were 35 ± 8% and 18 ± 6%, respectively. Tumor recurrence was dominantly local. However, 9 patients with initially local disease failed at a distant neuraxis site, giving a 26 ± 7% actuarial risk of dissemination at 3 years. The only significant prognostic factor was extent of tumor resection: patients who underwent GTR survived longer than those who underwent STR or Bx (P = 0.004). Histology (GBM vs. AA), age, and the use of enhanced local dose radiation therapy (brachytherapy or stereotactic irradiation) did not affect survival. CONCLUSIONS. Neoadjuvant chemotherapy was not associated with a survival rate significantly different from that observed in adjuvant chemotherapy studies. Systematic neuraxis staging at diagnosis and recurrence revealed a rate of neuraxis dissemination as a component of recurrence that was higher than previously reported; the utility of craniospinal irradiation in preventing isolated dissemination remains uncertain.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)497-504
Number of pages8
Issue number3
StatePublished - Aug 1 1997


  • Anaplastic astrocytoma
  • Glioblastoma multiforme
  • Malignant gliama
  • Survival
  • children

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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