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J Clin Oncol. 2010 Nov 20;28(33):4961-8. doi: 10.1200/JCO.2010.30.2299. Epub 2010 Oct 12.

Survival and prognostic factors of early childhood medulloblastoma: an international meta-analysis.

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University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf, Department of Pediatric Hematology and Oncology, Hamburg, Germany.



To assess the prognostic role of clinical parameters and histology in early childhood medulloblastoma.


Clinical and histologic data from 270 children younger than age 5 years diagnosed with medulloblastoma between March 1987 and July 2004 and treated within prospective trials of five national study groups were centrally analyzed.


Two hundred sixty children with medulloblastoma and specified histologic subtype were eligible for analysis (median age, 1.89 years; median follow-up, 8.0 years). Rates for 8-year event-free survival (EFS) and overall survival (OS) were 55% and 76%, respectively, in 108 children with desmoplastic/nodular medulloblastoma (DNMB) or medulloblastoma with extensive nodularity (MBEN); 27% and 42%, respectively, in 145 children with classic medulloblastoma (CMB); and 14% and 14%, respectively, in seven children with large-cell/anaplastic (LC/A) medulloblastoma (P < .001). Histology (DNMB/MBEN: hazard ratio [HR], 0.44; 95% CI, 0.31 to 0.64; LC/A medulloblastoma: HR, 2.27; 95% CI, 0.95 to 5.54; P < .001 compared with CMB), incomplete resection and metastases (M0R1: HR, 1.86; 95% CI, 1.29 to 2.80; M+: HR, 2.28; 95% CI, 1.50 to 3.46; P < .001 compared with M0R0), and national group were independent prognostic factors for EFS, and OS. The HRs for OS ranged from 0.14 for localized M0 and DNMB/MBEN to 13.67 for metastatic LC/A medulloblastoma in different national groups.


Our results confirm the high frequency of desmoplastic variants of medulloblastomas in early childhood and histopathology as a strong independent prognostic factor. A controlled de-escalation of treatment may be appropriate for young children with DNMB and MBEN in future clinical trials.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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