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Radiother Oncol. 1997 Oct;45(1):3-10.

Postoperative radiotherapy of spinal and intracranial ependymomas: analysis of prognostic factors.

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Department of Radiotherapy, Strahlenklinik, Essen, Germany.



Postoperative radiation therapy adds significantly to disease control and survival of patients with ependymoma. However, much controversy exists about the radiation treatment policy. We report the long-term results of a cohort of 56 patients with primary intracranial and spinal ependymomas. Special effort has been taken to define prognostic indicators as a basis for future treatment strategies.


Between November 1963 and May 1995, 56 patients with histological proven ependymoma were referred to our clinic for further treatment following surgery. Thirty patients had a high grading tumor and 26 had low grade tumors. Seventeen patients had supratentorial tumors and 24 had infratentorial tumors. Fifteen patients suffered from localized spinal tumors.


The mean survival time for all patients was 77 months. Five- and 10-year survival probabilities were 60 and 51%, respectively. The mean progression free survival (PFS) probability for all patients was 67 months with corresponding 5- and 10-year PFS probabilities of 53 and 39%, respectively. On univariate analysis initial performance status, age and tumor grade were significant for survival probability. Concerning PFS radiation dose was significant with improved survival with doses > 45 Gy. On multivariate analysis, tumor grade and initial performance status proved to be the only independent prognostic factors.


Tumor grade, age, initial performance status and radiation dose are significant factors for the clinical course of patients and have to be taken into account for the urgently needed prospective trials.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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