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J Neurooncol. 2006 Sep;79(3):281-7. Epub 2006 Apr 6.

Treatment options in childhood pontine gliomas.

Author information

1
Department of Pediatric Oncology, Krankenhaus der Barmherzigen Brüder Klinik St. Hedwig, Regensburg, Germany. sabine.wagner@barmherzige-regensburg.de

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Pontine gliomas are the subgroup of brainstem gliomas with the worst prognosis. Controversial treatment approaches are discussed.

PATIENTS AND METHODS:

Data of children with pontine gliomas treated in different prospective multi-center studies who were registered in the HIT-GBM database were pooled and analyzed addressing prognostic factors and the relevance of intensive treatment using contingency tables, Kaplan-Meier curves and Cox regression analyses.

RESULTS:

From 1983 to 2001, 153 patients (74 males, 79 females, mean age: 8.1 years) with pontine gliomas were registered. Twenty-one tumors were low-grade and 60 were high-grade gliomas (72 undefined histology: 67 no surgery, 5 incomplete data). Sixteen tumors were partially resected, and 125 were irradiated. Ninety children received chemotherapy according to the "HIT-GBM" protocols ("Hirntumor-Glioblastoma multiforme"). The one-year overall survival rate (1YOS) of all patients with pontine glioma was 39.9+/-4.3%. None of the surviving patients had an observation time longer than 3.9 years. Favorable prognostic factors seemed to be age younger than 4 years, low-grade histology and smaller tumor. All three major treatment modalities including resection, irradiation and chemotherapy had prognostic relevance in univariable analysis. Chemotherapy remained beneficial, even if the analysis was restricted to the subgroup of irradiated tumors (1YOS 45.8+/-5.4% vs. 34.4+/-13.5%, P=0.030).

CONCLUSION:

Irradiation is an effective element for the treatment of pontine gliomas. Intensive chemotherapy seems to be important in achieving a better OS.

PMID:
16598416
DOI:
10.1007/s11060-006-9133-1
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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