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Acta Neurol Scand. 2009 Nov;120(5):288-94. doi: 10.1111/j.1600-0404.2009.01157.x. Epub 2009 Sep 8.

Intracranial tumor surgery in patients >70 years of age: is clinical practice worthwhile or futile?

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Faculty of Medicine, University of Oslo, Oslo, Norway.

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  • Acta Neurol Scand. 2009 Dec;120(6):453.



To study survival and functional outcome after intracranial tumor surgery in elderly patients.


This is a retrospective study of 289 consecutive patients of age > or =70 years, who underwent primary surgery (resection or biopsy) in the time period 2003-2007 for an intracranial tumor (87 astrocytomas, 79 meningiomas, 62 brain metastases, 33 pituitary adenomas and 28 other tumors).


The surgical mortality was 2.8%. Overall survival at 6 months, 1, 2 and 5 years was 73%, 57%, 46% and 38% respectively. Histology, pre-operative Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group (ECOG) performance score and resection, as opposed to biopsy, were significantly associated with survival. Gender, age and American Association of Anaesthetists (ASA) score were not significantly related to survival. One-year survival after surgery for astrocytoma, meningioma, brain metastases and pituitary adenoma were 24%, 94%, 31% and 96% respectively. More than 85% of the patients who were alive 6 months after surgery had a stable or improved ECOG score compared with their pre-operative score.


Surgery for intracranial tumors in selected elderly patients is worthwhile, not futile. Age alone should not be used as a selection criterion for treatment.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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