Role of early and aggressive post-operative radiation therapy in improving outcome for pediatric central nervous system atypical teratoid/rhabdoid tumor

Childs Nerv Syst. 2019 Jun;35(6):1013-1020. doi: 10.1007/s00381-019-04126-y. Epub 2019 Apr 13.


Purpose: The purpose of the study is to evaluate possible prognostic factors and optimal management for pediatric atypical teratoid/rhabdoid tumor (AT/RT) of the central nervous system (CNS).

Methods: Twenty-eight pediatric patients with CNS AT/RT who were treated with radiation therapy (RT) as part of multimodality treatment regimens at a single institution (1996-2015) were reviewed. Survival outcomes were analyzed in relation to possible prognostic factors.

Results: The 28 patients analyzed were followed up for a median 48-month period. Median progression-free survival (PFS) was 11 months, and overall survival (OS) was 57 months. Patients < 3 years old had RT delayed for a longer period after surgery (p = 0.04), and the mean RT dose to tumor bed was lower (p < 0.01) than in patients ≥ 3 years old. In multivariate analysis, a higher primary tumor bed RT dose was identified as a favorable prognostic factor for both PFS (hazard ratio [HR] = 0.85 per gray, p < 0.01) and OS (HR = 0.92 per gray, p = 0.02). In addition, an interval between surgery and RT initiation > 2 months, with disease progression observed before RT, as compared with an interval ≤ 2 months without disease progression prior to RT, was associated with worse PFS (HR = 8.50, p < 0.01) and OS (HR = 5.27, p < 0.01).

Conclusions: Early and aggressive RT after surgery is critical for successful disease control in AT/RT patients. Conversely, a delay in RT until disease progression is observed that leads to unfavorable outcomes.

Keywords: High-dose chemotherapy; Radiation dose; Radiation therapy; Time interval.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Antineoplastic Combined Chemotherapy Protocols / therapeutic use
  • Central Nervous System Neoplasms / mortality
  • Central Nervous System Neoplasms / therapy*
  • Chemotherapy, Adjuvant / methods
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Combined Modality Therapy / methods
  • Combined Modality Therapy / mortality
  • Craniotomy / methods
  • Female
  • Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation / methods
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Male
  • Radiotherapy, Adjuvant / methods*
  • Radiotherapy, Adjuvant / mortality*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Rhabdoid Tumor / mortality
  • Rhabdoid Tumor / therapy*
  • Teratoma / mortality
  • Teratoma / therapy*

Supplementary concepts

  • Teratoid Tumor, Atypical