Relapsed intracranial ependymoma in children in the UK: patterns of relapse, survival and therapeutic outcome

Eur J Cancer. 2009 Jul;45(10):1815-23. doi: 10.1016/j.ejca.2009.03.018. Epub 2009 May 7.


Relapsed ependymoma in children poses difficult dilemmas in management. Clinico-pathological and treatment data of 108 children with relapsed ependymoma in the United Kingdom (UK) treated between 1985 and 2002 were reviewed to identify prognostic factors affecting survival. The primary site was the most common site of relapse (84%). Overall 25% had metastatic relapse. Surgery at relapse was attempted in only 55%. Radiotherapy was delivered at relapse in 66% infants and 50% of older children were re-irradiated. Overall 5-year survival was 24% and 27% for children less than 3 years of age at initial diagnosis and older children, respectively. Multivariate analysis showed that, for infants, surgery (p=0.01) and radiotherapy (p=0.001) at relapse were independent predictors of survival. For older children regardless of the previous radiotherapy, repeat irradiation was associated with better outcome (p=0.05). Relapse was associated with poor outcome in both age groups. A survival advantage conferred by both radiotherapy and surgery at relapse is independently significant.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Age Factors
  • Brain Neoplasms / pathology
  • Brain Neoplasms / therapy*
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Combined Modality Therapy
  • Ependymoma / pathology
  • Ependymoma / secondary
  • Ependymoma / therapy*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Male
  • Neoplasm Recurrence, Local / pathology
  • Neoplasm Recurrence, Local / therapy*
  • Prognosis
  • Prospective Studies
  • Survival Analysis
  • Treatment Outcome