Pineal tumors

J Neurooncol. 1992 Jan;12(1):85-91. doi: 10.1007/BF00172460.


From 1972-1985, 30 patients with pineal area tumor have been treated with combinations of surgery and irradiation, no patient receiving chemotherapy as a primary recommendation. Patients ranged between 3 and 69 years of age, 18 were male and 12 female. In 18 patients a tissue diagnosis was made initially, 14 patients required shunts before definitive management and in 8 of the 14 tissue diagnosis was made at the same time. Eight patients had no surgical intervention at any time. Patients who have received irradiation have had whole brain irradiation, local field irradiation, or craniospinal irradiation. Two elderly patients died rapidly of their malignant processes before definitive treatment could be given. Only one patient with a non neoplastic lesion was seen. This was a bleed from an AVM with no underlying tumor. One patient with a pineocytoma was not irradiated. Overall, two-thirds of our patients are alive 5 to 15 years after treatment. There has been no surgical mortality and minimal morbidity from biopsy. Late effects of treatment include one patient with mild hearing loss and three patients with endocrinopathies amenable to medical treatment. We believe that tissue diagnosis allows optimal field design and dose recommendations to be made by the radiotherapist in addition to defining prognosis. In our experience, endodermal sinus tumor and pineoblastoma are highly malignant, and in view of their poor prognosis with conventional management consideration of more radical treatment with a possible role for chemotherapy is suggested.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Brain Neoplasms / radiotherapy
  • Brain Neoplasms / surgery
  • Brain Neoplasms / therapy*
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pineal Gland*
  • Pinealoma / radiotherapy
  • Pinealoma / surgery
  • Pinealoma / therapy*
  • Retrospective Studies