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Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys. 2013 Mar 15;85(4):e193-9. doi: 10.1016/j.ijrobp.2012.10.033. Epub 2012 Dec 11.

Supratentorial ependymoma: disease control, complications, and functional outcomes after irradiation.

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Department of Radiation Oncology, Sheba Medical Center, Ramat Gan, Israel.



Ependymoma is less commonly found in the supratentorial brain and has known clinical and molecular features that are unique. Our single-institution series provides valuable information about disease control for supratentorial ependymoma and the complications of supratentorial irradiation in children.


A total of 50 children with newly diagnosed supratentorial ependymoma were treated with adjuvant radiation therapy (RT); conformal methods were used in 36 after 1996. The median age at RT was 6.5 years (range, 1-18.9 years). The entire group was characterized according to sex (girls 27), race (white 43), extent of resection (gross-total 46), and tumor grade (anaplastic 28). The conformal RT group was prospectively evaluated for neurologic, endocrine, and cognitive effects.


With a median follow-up time of 9.1 years from the start of RT for survivors (range, 0.2-23.2 years), the 10-year progression-free and overall survival were 73% + 7% and 76% + 6%, respectively. None of the evaluated factors was prognostic for disease control. Local and distant failures were evenly divided among the 16 patients who experienced progression. Eleven patients died of disease, and 1 of central nervous system necrosis. Seizure disorders were present in 17 patients, and 4 were considered to be clinically disabled. Clinically significant cognitive effects were limited to children with difficult-to-control seizures. The average values for intelligence quotient and academic achievement (reading, spelling, and math) were within the range of normal through 10 years of follow-up. Central hypothyroidism was the most commonly treated endocrinopathy.


RT may be administered with acceptable risks for complications in children with supratentorial ependymoma. These results suggest that outcomes for these children are improving and that complications may be limited by use of focal irradiation methods.

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