Purpose: The objective of this study was to analyze survival and prognostic factors for children, adolescents, and young adults treated with postoperative radiation therapy (RT) for intracranial ependymoma.
Methods and materials: Between 2000 and 2013, 202 patients aged ≤25 years were treated in the 13 main French pediatric RT reference centers. Their medical records were reviewed for information, treatments received, and survival rates. All children had received postoperative RT- conformal, intensity modulated, or proton beam. In 2009, the prescribed standard dose in France rose from 54 Gy to 59.4 Gy.
Results: Median follow-up was 53.8 months (95% confidence interval [CI] 47-63.5). Median age at RT was 5 years (range 1-22), and 32% of the children treated were aged <3 years. Regarding treatment, 85.6% of patients underwent gross total resection, 62% of patients received conformal RT (vs 29% for intensity modulated RT and 8% for proton beam RT), 62.4% of patients received a dose >54 Gy, and 71% received chemotherapy. Of the 84 relapses, 75% were local. The cumulative incidence of local relapse was 24.4% (95% CI 18.2-31.2) at 3 years and 31.3% (95% CI 24-38.9) at 5 years. The 5-year disease-free survival (DFS) and overall survival rates were 50.4% (95% CI 42.2-58) and 71.4% (95% CI 63.1-78.2). Tumor grade was the only prognostic factor for local relapse and DFS. Tumor grade, age, and extent of resection were independent prognostic factors for overall survival.
Conclusions: We confirmed several clinical and tumoral prognostic factors in a large French multicenter study. DFS for intracranial ependymoma remains low, and new biological and imaging markers are needed to distinguish among different subtypes, adapt treatments, and improve survival.
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