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Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys. 2006 Mar 15;64(4):1060-71. Epub 2005 Dec 20.

Spinal cord gliomas: A multi-institutional retrospective analysis.

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Department of Radiation Oncology, University of Miami, Miami, FL, USA.



To determine the impact of postoperative radiation therapy (POXRT) on outcome in spinal cord gliomas.


Data from 242 patients were collected retrospectively from six institutions using a standardized data sheet. Pathology specimens, when available, were centrally reviewed.


A total of 183 patients were analyzed: 82 received surgery alone as initial treatment, whereas 101 had surgery and POXRT. Demographic, diagnostic, and treatment factors were analyzed for impact on progression-free (PFS) and overall survival (OS). PFS in ependymoma patients was 74%, 60%, and 35% at 5, 10, 15 years, respectively, and was significantly influenced by treatment type, race, age, tumor grade, and type of surgery on univariate analysis, with age being the only significant factor on multivariate analysis (MVA) (p = 0.01). OS of ependymoma patients was 91%, 84%, and 75% at 5, 10, and 15 years, respectively, and was significantly influenced by both complete resection (p = 0.04) and age (p = 0.03) on MVA. In astrocytomas, PFS was 42%, 29%, and 15% at 5, 10, and 15 years, and was significantly influenced by POXRT in low- and intermediate-grade tumors on MVA (p = 0.02). OS at 5, 10, and 15 years was 59%, 53%, and 32%, respectively, and was significantly influenced by grade on MVA (p < 0.01).


Postoperative radiation therapy reduced disease progression in low- and moderate-grade astrocytomas. In ependymomas, complete resection significantly influenced OS.

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