Clinical Features, Treatment and Outcome of Childhood Glial Tumors

Turk Neurosurg. 2022;32(1):135-142. doi: 10.5137/1019-5149.JTN.34801-21.2.


Aim: To evaluate the clinical features, treatment approaches, and outcomes of glial tumors in children.

Material and methods: Files (2006 to 2020) of children diagnosed with glial tumors and followed-up were reviewed retrospectively. Information regarding demographic and clinical characteristics, treatment approaches, and outcomes were retrieved from the patients? files.

Results: Of the total of 180 pediatric patients diagnosed with brain tumors, 73 (40.6%) had glial tumors. The children with astrocytoma were in the age range of 2?18 years (median age: 8.7 years), while the ages of children with ependymoma ranged from three months to 10 years (median age: 3 years). This difference was statistically significant (p < 0.0001). The male to female ratio was 1.6. The most common symptoms or signs were headaches (n=34, 46.6%), abnormal gait or coordination (n=22, 30.2%), vomiting (n=21, 28.8%), and cranial nerve palsies (n=20, 27.4%). The pathological diagnoses were astrocytomas (n=53, 72.6%), oligodendroglial tumors (n=2, 2.7%), ependymoma (n=15, 20.7%), and other glial tumors (n=3, 4.1%). The most common tumor location was supratentorial (n=42, 57.5%), while midline glioma was detected in seven patients. The 5-year overall survival (OS) rate of all glial tumors, astrocytoma, and ependymoma was 42%, 40%, and 55%, respectively. The 5-year OS rate of the tumor Grade I, II, III, and IV was 77.2%, 45%, 32%, and 0%, respectively (p < 0.0001). The 5-year OS rate of supratentorial, infratentorial, and spinal tumors was 25.6%, 63.6%, and 50%, respectively (p=0.021). In Cox regression analysis, it was found that the tumor resection and grade had an effect on the tumor prognosis.

Conclusion: Treatment results are not satisfactory in high-grade astrocytomas. There is a need for new treatment approaches that would take cognizance of molecular features and adopt multidisciplinary approaches.

MeSH terms

  • Astrocytoma* / therapy
  • Brain Neoplasms* / therapy
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Ependymoma* / therapy
  • Female
  • Glioma*
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Male
  • Prognosis
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Treatment Outcome