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Neuroepidemiology. 2012;39(2):116-24. doi: 10.1159/000339320. Epub 2012 Jul 28.

Predictors of survival among pediatric and adult ependymoma cases: a study using Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results data from 1973 to 2007.

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Dan L. Duncan Cancer Center, Baylor College of Medicine, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX 77030, USA.



Despite previous research, prognostic factors for ependymoma remain relatively controversial. The purpose of our study was to examine demographic, clinical, and tumor attributes as potential predictors of survival using Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) program data (1973-2007).


All ependymoma (ICD-O-3 code 9391) and anaplastic ependymoma cases (ICD-O-3 code 9392) with complete data (n = 2,369 and n = 319, respectively) were included from SEER. Predictive Cox regression models were built separately among pediatric and adult cases. Recursive partitioning was used to corroborate results from regression models.


Among pediatric cases, tumor characteristics with a significantly increased mortality risk were anaplastic histology (vs. low grade, HR: 1.51, 95% CI: 1.04-2.19) and infratentorial tumor location (vs. spinal cord, HR: 3.86, 95% CI: 1.17-12.77). Among adults, supratentorial tumors were associated with higher mortality hazard (vs. spinal cord tumors) than infratentorial tumors (HR: 4.83, 95% CI: 3.49-6.68 and HR: 2.41, 95% CI: 1.79-3.25, respectively). Complete surgical resection of the tumor conferred the most protection among pediatric and adult patients.


Our results indicate that treatment type and tumor characteristics are important prognostic factors in patients with ependymoma. However, there may be key differences between pediatric and adult cases regarding how these factors influence survival.

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