Malignant pineal parenchymal tumors in adult patients: patterns of care and prognostic factors

Neurosurgery. 2002 Jul;51(1):44-55; discussion 55-6. doi: 10.1097/00006123-200207000-00006.


Objective: The aim of our study was to analyze patterns of care and to identify prognostic factors in patients at least 18 years of age who received radiotherapy for malignant pineal parenchymal tumors.

Methods: In a multicenter, retrospective study, we analyzed data for 37 previously published cases and 64 patients treated at the participating institutions.

Results: A total of 56 patients received postoperative radiotherapy, and 45 patients received primary radiotherapy. Chemotherapy was administered to 34 patients. The median follow-up period was 38 months, and median overall survival was 100 months. The variables that significantly influenced overall survival were the extent of disease (localized versus disseminated; P = 0.0002), differentiation (pineal parenchymal tumor of intermediate differentiation versus pineoblastoma; P = 0.001), and residual disease (> or = 50% versus < 50% reduction in size; P < 0.0001). In a multivariate analysis, the parameters turned out to be independent risk factors. The median survival in patients with local or spinal failure was 15 months. Local control was better in older patients (> or = 32 yr versus < 32 yr; P = 0.02). Spinal control was more successful in patients with pineal parenchymal tumors of intermediate differentiation than it was in patients with pineoblastomas (P = 0.03). Nine of 45 treatment failures occurred later than 5 years after treatment.

Conclusion: Stage, histological characteristics, and response are independent risk factors in adults with malignant pineal parenchymal tumors. Late relapses are common.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Chemotherapy, Adjuvant
  • Combined Modality Therapy
  • Cranial Irradiation*
  • Critical Pathways / statistics & numerical data
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasm Staging
  • Pineal Gland / pathology
  • Pineal Gland / surgery
  • Pinealoma / mortality
  • Pinealoma / pathology
  • Pinealoma / radiotherapy*
  • Pinealoma / surgery*
  • Prognosis
  • Radiotherapy, Adjuvant
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Survival Rate