Radiotherapy for adult medulloblastoma: Long term result from a single institution. A review of prognostic factors and why we do need a multi-institutional cooperative program

Rep Pract Oncol Radiother. 2015 Jul-Aug;20(4):284-91. doi: 10.1016/j.rpor.2015.03.003. Epub 2015 Apr 8.


Aim: We retrospectively analyzed our Institution experience with these patients. The endpoints of the analysis were overall survival (OS), disease-free survival (DFS), local control (LC), metastasis free survival (MFS); results were compared with the literature.

Background: Medulloblastoma in adult patients is a very rare disease; the 5 and 10-year overall survival rates range between 33-78% and 27-56%, respectively. The collection of more clinical data is strongly needed.

Materials and methods: From September 1975 to October 2006, we treated 16 adult patients (9 males and 7 females) with a histological diagnosis of medulloblastoma. Acute and late toxicities were scored according to RTOG toxicity scale. Karnofski performance status (KPS) and neurological performance status (NPS) pre- and post-RT were reported. Median age was 27 years (range 18-53 years). All the patients received cranio-spinal irradiation, two patients were also given chemotherapy. Median follow-up period was 121.5 months.

Results: In January 2014, 10/16 patients were alive without evidence of disease, 6/16 died with progressive disease (1 local and spinal, 3 spinal and 2 extraneural). Ten-year LC, OS, DFS, MFS were, respectively, 84%, 67%, 60% and 59%. Univariate analysis shows that gross total resection is associated with better survival. No acute or late G3-G4 toxicity was observed.

Conclusions: This experience and the analysis of the literature confirm the efficacy of postoperative RT but also the need of large datasets to better define prognostic factors and the possible role of the association of chemotherapy.

Keywords: Adult medulloblastoma; Chemotherapy; Cranio-spinal irradiation.