Atypical teratoid/rhabdoid tumors of the central nervous system: management and outcomes

Neurosurg Focus. 2005 Jun 15;18(6A):E8.


Object: Atypical teratoid/rhabdoid tumors (ATRTs) represent a relatively newly categorized neoplastic entity. They commonly present in childhood, and have a rapidly progressive clinical course with a survival time of less than 1 year. Treatment regimens have been nonuniform. In this retrospective review of patients with ATRTs who were treated at the authors' institution according to a uniform protocol, the goal was to assess the efficacy of the treatment and its outcome.

Methods: Over a 7-year period, ATRT was diagnosed in 11 patients (six boys and five girls). The median age of the patients was 61 months, and their ages ranged from 3 months to 17 years. Signs and symptoms began, on average, a little more than 1 month before diagnosis and included the following: headache (36%), nausea and vomiting (46%), lethargy (18%), seizures (27%), cranial nerve findings (46%), ataxia (18%), long tract findings (18%), and hydrocephalus (46%). Tumor location was cortical in four patients, in the pineal region in four, in the posterior fossa in two, and spinal in one. In one patient disseminated disease was revealed on the initial imaging study; seven patients had disseminated tumor subsequently. Treatment consisted of chemotherapy in 11 patients, chemotherapy and local radiation in five, and chemotherapy and craniospinal radiation in three. Six patients are alive, three have died, and two were lost to follow-up review. The mean time to death was 24 months, and ranged from 2 to 67 months. Among the surviving patients the mean duration of follow up is 18.5 months and ranges from 2 to 37 months. The median time to progression was 3.5 months.

Conclusions: Atypical teratoid/rhabdoid tumors are malignant lesions with rapid progression. Further study is necessary to determine the efficacy of therapy.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Central Nervous System Neoplasms / mortality
  • Central Nervous System Neoplasms / pathology
  • Central Nervous System Neoplasms / physiopathology
  • Central Nervous System Neoplasms / therapy*
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging / methods
  • Male
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Rhabdoid Tumor / mortality
  • Rhabdoid Tumor / pathology
  • Rhabdoid Tumor / physiopathology
  • Rhabdoid Tumor / therapy*
  • Teratoma / mortality
  • Teratoma / pathology
  • Teratoma / physiopathology
  • Teratoma / therapy*
  • Treatment Outcome