Prognosis and histopathologic features in papillary tumors of the pineal region: a retrospective multicenter study of 31 cases

J Neuropathol Exp Neurol. 2006 Oct;65(10):1004-11. doi: 10.1097/01.jnen.0000240462.80263.13.


Papillary tumor of the pineal region (PTPR) is a recently described tumor entity thought to arise from the specialized ependyma of the subcommissural organ. Whereas histologic features of PTPR are well defined, data on the prognostic value of PTPR remain scarce. We therefore investigated clinicopathologic features, including data on progression-free survival and overall survival, in a retrospective series of 31 PTPR. The age of the 14 males and 17 females ranged from 5 to 66 years (median age, 29 years). Histologically, all tumors were characterized by an epithelial-like growth pattern in which the vessels were covered by layers of columnar or cuboidal tumor cells forming perivascular pseudorosettes. Most of the tumor cells showed strong expression of neuron-specific enolase, cytokeratins (particularly CK18), S-100 protein, and vimentin. Most PTPRs examined also expressed microtubule-associated protein-2. Expression of synaptophysin, epithelial membrane antigen, transthyretin, neural cell adhesion molecule, and nestin was encountered in some tumors. Gross total resection could be achieved in 21 of 31 cases; 15 patients received radiotherapy on resection of the primary tumor. Nevertheless, the majority of patients experienced recurrences; 5-year estimates for overall survival and progression-free survival were 73% and 27%, respectively. To conclude, the clinical course of PTPR is characterized by frequent local recurrence, and the value of radiotherapy on disease progression will need to be investigated in future prospective trials.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Carcinoma, Papillary / metabolism
  • Carcinoma, Papillary / mortality*
  • Carcinoma, Papillary / pathology*
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Disease-Free Survival
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasm Recurrence, Local / epidemiology
  • Neoplasm Recurrence, Local / pathology
  • Neurosurgical Procedures
  • Pinealoma / metabolism
  • Pinealoma / mortality*
  • Pinealoma / pathology*
  • Prognosis
  • Radiotherapy
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Survival Rate