Impact of radiation therapy and extent of resection for ependymoma in young children: A population-based study

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Abstract

Background:

Young children with posterior fossa ependymoma (PF-EPN) have a worse prognosis than older children, and they have a unique molecular profile (PF-EPN-A subtype). Alternative treatment strategies are often used in these young patients, and their prognostic factors are less clear.

Methods:

We characterized the prognostic factors and treatment outcomes of 482 patients between ages 0 and 3 years with the diagnosis of ependymoma identified from the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results registry (1973–2013).

Results:

Radiation therapy (RT) was delivered to 52.3% of patients, and gross total resection (GTR) was performed in 51.0% of patients. Overall survival (OS) at 10 years was 48.4% with median follow-up of 3.3 years. WHO grade was not predictive of OS. Extent of resection was significant for survival; the 10-year OS with GTR was 61.0%, and with subtotal resection (STR) and biopsy was 38.2% and 35.0%, respectively (P < 0.001). RT significantly benefitted OS for both grades II and III. The 10-year OS for grade II was 50.5% with RT and 43.4% without (P = 0.030); 10-year OS for grade III was 66.0% with RT and 40.0% without (P = 0.002). Multivariate analysis showed significantly improved OS with RT (hazard ratio [HR] 0.601, 95% CI: 0.439–0.820, P = 0.001) and GTR (HR 0.471, 95% CI: 0.328–0.677, P < 0.0001).

Conclusions:

Ependymoma outcomes in patients within 0–3 years of age significantly improved with RT and GTR. Histopathologic grading of ependymoma demonstrated no prognostic significance. Given the poor OS for this population and unique genetic profile, future prospective studies with molecular-based stratification should be performed to evaluate additional prognostic factors.

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