Assessment of quality of survival in children with medulloblastoma and cerebellar astrocytoma

Cancer. 1988 Sep 15;62(6):1215-22. doi: 10.1002/1097-0142(19880915)62:6<1215::aid-cncr2820620629>;2-c.


To determine the quality of survival for children with posterior fossa tumors, comprehensive neuropsychological, behavioral, and academic assessment and physician ratings of functional status were obtained on 15 brain tumor patients (ages 6-19 years) at a median of 20 months post-diagnosis. More than 50% of the children (whether irradiated or not) experienced major problems in academic, motor, sensory, cognitive, and emotional function. All but two children were reported by teachers to be "slow workers," and four of 15 patients were able to maintain their school work in regular classes. Although 80% of the patients were rated by physicians as having "excellent" or "good" functional status, no relationship was found between these global ratings and psychometric measures. Although the affected site was the posterior fossa, deficits also involved higher cortical function. These findings indicate the need for further evaluation of treatment effects and the provision of intervention for survivors.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Achievement
  • Adolescent
  • Astrocytoma / complications
  • Astrocytoma / psychology*
  • Brain Neoplasms / complications
  • Brain Neoplasms / psychology*
  • Child
  • Cognition
  • Cranial Fossa, Posterior
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Intelligence Tests
  • Learning Disabilities / etiology
  • Male
  • Medulloblastoma / complications
  • Medulloblastoma / psychology*
  • Motor Skills
  • Neuropsychological Tests
  • Perception
  • Quality of Life*
  • Social Behavior