Object: Glioblastoma is the most common primary malignant brain tumor; however, glioblastoma in children is less common than in adults, and little is known about its clinical outcome in children. The authors evaluated the long-term outcome of glioblastoma in children.
Methods: Twenty-seven children were confirmed to have harbored a glioblastoma between 1985 and 2007. The clinical features and treatment outcomes were reviewed retrospectively. All patients underwent resection; complete resection was performed in 12 patients (44%), subtotal resection in 12 patients (44%), and biopsy in 3 patients (11%). Twenty-four patients (89%) had radiation therapy, and 14 (52%) patients received chemotherapy plus radiation therapy. Among the latter, 5 patients had radiation therapy concurrent with temozolomide chemotherapy. Four patients with small-size recurrent glioblastoma received stereotactic radiosurgery.
Results: The median overall survival (OS) was 43 months, and the median progression-free survival was 12 months. The OS rate was 67% at 1 year, 52% at 2 years, and 40% at 5 years. The median OS was significantly associated with tumor location (52 months for superficially located tumors vs 7 months for deeply located tumors; p = 0.017) and extent of removal (106 months for completely resected tumors vs 11 months for incompletely resected tumors; p < 0.0001).
Conclusions: The prognosis of glioblastoma is better in children than in adults. Radical resection followed by concurrent chemoradiation therapy may be the initial treatment of choice.