Remarkable efficacy of temozolomide for relapsed spinal myxopapillary ependymoma with multiple recurrence and cerebrospinal dissemination: a case report and literature review

Eur Spine J. 2018 Jul;27(Suppl 3):421-425. doi: 10.1007/s00586-017-5413-z. Epub 2017 Dec 21.


Purpose: Myxopapillary ependymomas are intradural tumors which grow from the terminal filum of the spinal cord. Although they are classified as WHO grade I, they sometimes cause cerebrospinal fluid dissemination or local recurrence. In this report, we describe a case in that temozolomide (TMZ) showed remarkable efficacy on a recurrent spinal myxopapillary ependymoma.

Case report: A 26-year-old female underwent resection of an intradural myxopapillary ependymoma at L5 initially. Although an en bloc total resection, including the capsule, could be achieved, she needed two additional tumor resection surgeries with postoperative radiotherapy at L4 and at L3 (2 and 6 years after the initial surgery, respectively). Moreover, 4 years after the initial surgery, a disseminated metastatic tumor occurred at T11/12 and local radiotherapy was not effective. After the third surgery, an aggressive adjuvant therapy was necessary because there was a high risk of another recurrence. Therefore, TMZ was administered for 1 year. After 6 months of TMZ treatment, remarkably, the disseminated metastatic tumor at T11/12 had disappeared completely. Presently, 6 years after finishing the TMZ treatment, the follow-up MRI has shown no recurrence in the brain and whole spine.

Conclusions: TMZ is usually used in the treatment of glioblastoma and, recently, it has been reported to be effective for the lower grade spinal gliomas including spinal intramedullary ependymomas. However, for myxopapillary ependymomas, there has been no report that TMZ is effective. According to our results, TMZ could be one of the possible candidates for adjuvant therapy in multiple recurrent myxopapillary ependymomas.

Keywords: Chemotherapy; Microscopic surgery; Spinal cord tumor.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Antineoplastic Agents, Alkylating / therapeutic use*
  • Cauda Equina / pathology
  • Cauda Equina / surgery
  • Chemotherapy, Adjuvant / methods
  • Combined Modality Therapy
  • Ependymoma / drug therapy*
  • Ependymoma / pathology
  • Ependymoma / surgery
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Neoplasm Recurrence, Local / drug therapy
  • Neoplasm Recurrence, Local / surgery
  • Spinal Cord Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Spinal Cord Neoplasms / pathology
  • Spinal Cord Neoplasms / surgery
  • Temozolomide / therapeutic use*
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Antineoplastic Agents, Alkylating
  • Temozolomide