Medulloblastoma: Distinctive Histo-Molecular Correlation with Clinical Profile, Radiologic Characteristics, and Surgical Outcome

Pediatr Neurosurg. 2019;54(5):329-340. doi: 10.1159/000501913. Epub 2019 Sep 3.


Objective: Medulloblastoma (MB) is a heterogenous tumor, and the prognosis is influenced by various clinical, histological, and molecular factors. The aim of the study is to determine the clinical profile and radiologic characteristics among the histo-molecular subgroups, the predictors of surgical outcome, and the pattern of relapse in pediatric and adult MB.

Method: An analysis of 118 patients of MB who underwent surgical treatment at National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences, India, over a 7-year period (2005-2011) is presented. The clinical profile, radiologic characteristics, surgical nuances, and survival patterns are discussed. The relevant statistical analysis was done using SPSS software, version 22.0.

Results: The mean age of the cohort was 12 years (12.3 ± 8.7). The primary manifestation was raised intracranial tension headache in 53 patients (44.9%), which was the predominant symptom in large cell/anaplastic (LCA)- and WNT-activated subgroups. The median preoperative Karnofsky performance score was 60 (60.6 ± 12.9). Vermian and hemispheric location of tumor was most commonly observed in non-WNT/non-SHH (groups 3 and 4; 91.7%) and SHH-activated (42.9%) subgroups, respectively. Ninety-two patients (78%) underwent preoperative ventriculoperitoneal shunts (VPS) for obstructive hydrocephalus (HCP) and 14 patients (11.8%) underwent VPS in the postoperative period. The median overall survival (OS) for the whole group was 82.1 ± 5.7 months and the median recurrence-free survival was 51.0 ± 4.8 months. While radiotherapy had a significant influence on OS, progression-free survival was influenced by radiotherapy as well as chemotherapy in both pediatric and adult cohort. Desmoplastic/nodular subtype and WNT-activated subgroup had the best prognosis; LCA and non-WNT/non-SHH had the worst prognosis.

Conclusions: Majority of the patients were pediatric in the study. Age, hemispheric location of tumor, extent of resection, and adjuvant treatment status were the important clinical prognostic factors for survival. Surgery for MB is formidable, and VPS can be considered in persistent symptomatic and progressive HCP. Our study on pediatric and adult MB validates the prognostic significance of various clinical, radiologic, and histo-molecular parameters of MB.

Keywords: CSF diversion; Clinical features; Histo-molecular; Imaging; Medulloblastoma; Outcome.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Cerebellar Neoplasms / diagnostic imaging*
  • Cerebellar Neoplasms / mortality
  • Cerebellar Neoplasms / surgery*
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Cohort Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • India / epidemiology
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging / mortality
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging / trends
  • Male
  • Medulloblastoma / diagnostic imaging*
  • Medulloblastoma / mortality
  • Medulloblastoma / surgery*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Survival Rate / trends
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Young Adult