Intracranial ependymomas in childhood--a retrospective review of sixty-two children

Acta Oncol. 2000;39(1):97-100. doi: 10.1080/028418600431049.


Of the 818 tumours of the central nervous system diagnosed between 1972 and 1991, 62 patients (35 males and 27 females) with histopathologically confirmed ependymomas were treated and followed-up at the Children's Hospital of Hacettepe University during that period. The median age was 6 years (range 1-17 years). Headache, nausea and vomiting were the most frequent symptoms; papilledema was the most common sign in our patients. Tumour sites were in the posterior fossa in 47 patients and supratentorial in 15 patients. All patients underwent surgery. Gross- total resection was performed in 27 patients, subtotal resection in 32 patients and biopsy in the remaining 3 patients. Initially, 53 patients were given postoperative radiotherapy. Four patients did not receive radiotherapy because of their young age, whereas five patients died prior to starting radiotherapy. Two slightly different types of chemotherapy protocols were applied for an average of one year in 47 patients. Event-free and overall survival rates at 10 years were 36% and 50%, respectively. Twenty children suffered relapse 4 to 55 months after diagnosis (median 16 months). Relapses were distant in 3 cases and local in 17. Age was the only statistically significant prognostic factor, patients younger than 5 years of age having a poorer outcome. Sex, histopathologic type, localization of the tumour, extent of surgery, and chemotherapy did not influence the prognosis in our study. Because the majority of recurrences were local, better local tumour control is required. New treatment strategies should be developed in order to improve local control.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Antineoplastic Combined Chemotherapy Protocols / therapeutic use*
  • Brain Neoplasms / pathology
  • Brain Neoplasms / therapy*
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Disease-Free Survival
  • Ependymoma / pathology
  • Ependymoma / therapy*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Male
  • Neoplasm Recurrence, Local
  • Prognosis
  • Radiotherapy, Adjuvant
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Treatment Outcome