Outcome of medulloblastoma in children: long-term complications and quality of life

Neuropediatrics. 2005 Dec;36(6):357-65. doi: 10.1055/s-2005-872880.


To study the outcomes in long-term survivors of paediatric medulloblastoma (MB), we followed 51 consecutive children who were treated between 1980 and 2000 in a single institution. In 18 of 26 survivors (mean follow-up time 12.2 years), tumour control, neurological, endocrine, and neurocognitive complications and their impact on behavioural and psychological adjustment, and health-related quality of life (QoL) were comprehensively assessed using qualitative and quantitative measures. Endocrine deficits occurred in 61 %, neurological complications in 72 %, and significant school problems in 72 %. All patients had significant deficits in neurocognitive functioning: attention and processing speed was impaired in 79 %, learning and memory in 88 %, language in 56 %, visual perception in 50 %, and executive functions in 64 %. In comparison with healthy controls, social functioning was rated by the patients as the QoL dimension most affected. Parents' ratings were considerably lower than those of the patients. No MB survivor > 18 years of age (n = 12) had a boy- or girlfriend. Because of their treatment, including craniospinal radiotherapy, MB long-time survivors are not only at great risk for neurological, endocrine, and neurocognitive complications, but also of social isolation thereby decreasing self-rated QoL substantially.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Activities of Daily Living
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Cerebellar Neoplasms / physiopathology
  • Cerebellar Neoplasms / psychology*
  • Child
  • Disease Progression
  • Endocrine System / physiopathology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Intelligence
  • Interviews as Topic
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Male
  • Medulloblastoma / physiopathology
  • Medulloblastoma / psychology*
  • Neurologic Examination
  • Neuropsychological Tests
  • Outcome Assessment, Health Care*
  • Quality of Life*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Social Behavior
  • Statistics, Nonparametric
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Time Factors