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Radiat Oncol. 2010 Dec 26;5:122. doi: 10.1186/1748-717X-5-122.

Long term outcome of adolescent and adult patients with pineal parenchymal tumors treated with fractionated radiotherapy between 1982 and 2003--a single institution's experience.

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  • 1Department of Radiation Oncology, University Hospital Heidelberg, INF 400, 69120 Heidelberg, Germany.



To evaluate the effectivity of fractionated radiotherapy in adolescent and adult patients with pineal parenchymal tumors (PPT).


Between 1982 and 2003, 14 patients with PPTs were treated with fractionated radiotherapy. 4 patients had a pineocytoma (PC), one a PPT with intermediate differentiation (PPTID) and 9 patients a pineoblastoma (PB), 2 of which were recurrences. All patients underwent radiotherapy on the primary tumor site with a median total dose of 54 Gy. In 9 patients with primary PB treatment included whole brain irradiation (3 patients) or irradiation of the craniospinal axis (6 patients) with a median total dose of 35 Gy.


Median follow-up was 123 months in the PC patients and 109 months in the patients with primary PB. 7 patients were free from relapse at the end of follow-up. One PC patient died from spinal seeding. Among 5 PB patients treated with radiotherapy without chemotherapy, 3 developed local or spinal tumor recurrence. Both patients treated for PB recurrences died. The patient with PPTID is free of disease 7 years after radiotherapy.


Local radiotherapy seems to be effective in patients with PC and some PPTIDs. Diagnosis and treatment of patients with more aggressive variants of PPTIDs as well as treatment of PB needs to be further improved, since local and spinal failure even despite craniospinal irradiation (CSI) is common. As PPT are very rare tumors, treatment within multi-institutional trials remains necessary.

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