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Crit Rev Oncol Hematol. 2007 Jul;63(1):81-9. Epub 2007 May 4.


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  • 1Medical Oncology Unit, San Raffaele Scientific Institute, Milan, Italy. reni.michele@hsr.it


Ependymomas are rare tumours of neuroectodermal origin classified as myxopapillary ependymoma and subependymoma (grade I), ependymoma (grade II) and anaplastic ependymoma (grade III). The more common location is infratentorial (60%). Age <40 years and extent of surgery appear related to better prognosis, while the role of other prognostic factors, such as tumour grade and tumour site are equivocal. This emphasizes the role of surgery as the standard treatment. Postoperative radiotherapy is indicated in high-grade ependymomas, and is recommended in low-grade ependymomas after subtotal or incomplete resection (confirmed by postoperative MR). Deferral of radiotherapy until recurrence may be considered on an individual basis for patients with MR confirmation of a radical resection. Recommended dose to involved fields is 45-54 Gy for low-grade (grade II) and 54-60 Gy for high-grade ependymomas (grade III). There is no proof that postoperative chemotherapy improves the outcome. At recurrence, platinum-, nitrosourea- or temozolomide-based chemotherapy can be administered, although there is no evidence of efficacy.

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