Patterns of Failure in Patients With Adult Medulloblastoma Presenting Without Extraneural Metastasis

Am J Clin Oncol. 2018 Oct;41(10):1015-1018. doi: 10.1097/COC.0000000000000407.


Objectives: The objective of this study is to evaluate long-term outcomes, specifically patterns of tumor recurrence, in patients with adult medulloblastoma treated with radiotherapy.

Methods: We recorded outcomes of 28 (median age, 25 y) patients 18 years old or above with M0 to M3 medulloblastoma treated between 1971 and 2012. Among them, 61% had standard-risk disease. All received craniospinal irradiation with a posterior fossa boost. Median dose to the craniospinal axis was 36 Gy. Median total dose to the primary site was 55.9 Gy and 46% received chemotherapy.

Results: Median follow-up among survivors was 14.2 years. At 5 and 10 years, local control was 80% and 73%, overall survival was 71% and 59%, cause-specific survival was 71% and 63%, and freedom from progression was 68% and 59%. Tumors recurred in 11 patients (39%); median time to recurrence was 2.4 years, and 82% of recurrences developed in patients with standard-risk disease. Of the recurrences, 55% involved the primary site; 36% were bone metastases without neural axis recurrence. There were no isolated recurrences in the spinal canal or ventricular system outside of the posterior fossa.

Conclusion: The primary site is the main site of medulloblastoma recurrence, with isolated bone metastases more common in adults than children. Our results prompt us to consider 4 modifications to our treatment approach with adults who present with medulloblastoma: (1) initial staging to include PET or bone scan; (2) radiotherapy dose to the primary site of 59.4 Gy; (3) chemotherapy during and/or following radiotherapy in medically fit patients; (4) follow-up to include PET or bone scan twice a year for 3 years.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Cerebellar Neoplasms / pathology
  • Cerebellar Neoplasms / radiotherapy*
  • Cranial Irradiation / adverse effects*
  • Female
  • Florida / epidemiology
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Male
  • Medulloblastoma / pathology
  • Medulloblastoma / radiotherapy*
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasm Recurrence, Local / epidemiology*
  • Neoplasm Recurrence, Local / etiology
  • Neoplasm Recurrence, Local / pathology
  • Survival Rate
  • Treatment Failure
  • Young Adult