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J Neurooncol. 2012 Oct;110(1):99-104. doi: 10.1007/s11060-012-0939-8. Epub 2012 Jul 28.

Patterns of care and outcomes of patients with pleomorphic xanthoastrocytoma: a SEER analysis.

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  • 1Department of Radiation Oncology, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Nashville, TN 37232, USA.


To study the clinical characteristics, treatment approach and outcome of pleomorphic xanthoastrocytoma (PXA), patients were identified using the National Cancer Intitute's Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) database. A total of 214 patients were identified with PXA using the November 2010 submission. Patient demographics, tumor characteristics, extent of surgical resection, the use of radiotherapy, and overall survival were evaluated. Overall survival for PXA was then compared to that of pilocytic astrocytoma, oligodendroglioma, ependymom and glioblastoma also using the SEER database. Kaplan-Meier, univariate and multivariate analyses were performed. The majority of patients were found to be young adults with the most common tumor location being temporal lobe. Surgery was performed on most (95 %) patients, while 25 % of patients received radiation therapy. Five and 10 year overall survival rates were 75 and 67 %, respectively. Grade was only available for a limited number of patients but appeared to affect prognosis. Patients with grade IV tumors had a median overall survival of 45 months, whereas median survival was not reached for grade I-III patients. On multivariate analysis, male gender and increasing age were associated with worse overall survival (p values 0.05 and <0.006, respectively). Extent of resection trended towards significance in favor of gross total resection. PXA is a rare diagnosis that affects young adults. Surgical resection is the primary modality of treatment with an overall good prognosis. Elderly patients, those with higher grade disease and patients with incomplete resections may have a worse prognosis. The role of radiation therapy for PXA remains unclear but is more often used for patients with high grade tumors. Compared to other common brain tumors, PXA's appear to fare worse than pilocytic astrocytoma and oligodendroglioma, especially in younger patients. However, even high grade PXA patients have significantly better overall survival compared to glioblastoma.

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