Oral and dental late effects in long-term survivors of childhood embryonal brain tumors

Support Care Cancer. 2022 Dec;30(12):10233-10241. doi: 10.1007/s00520-022-07405-8. Epub 2022 Oct 29.


Purpose: To investigate oral and dental late effects in survivors of childhood brain tumors medulloblastoma (MB) and central nervous system supratentorial primitive neuroectodermal tumor (CNS-PNET).

Methods: This cross-sectional study assessed oral and dental late effects in MB/CNS-PNET survivors treated before 20 years of age, and with a minimum of 2 years since treatment. Participants went through an oral and radiographic examination. We assessed oral status using the decayed-missing-filled index (DMFT), oral dryness, maximum mouth opening (MMO), fungal infection, and registration of dental developmental disturbances (DDD) in the form of hypodontia, microdontia, and enamel hypoplasia.

Results: The 46 participants' mean age at enrolment was 27 ± 12.8 years and at treatment 8.5 ± 5.2 years, and the mean time since treatment was 18.9 ± 12 years. Over a third (35%) of survivors had reduced mouth opening (mean 29.3 ± 5.6 mm (range 16-35)). A significantly lower MMO was found in individuals treated ≤ 5 years compared to survivors treated > 5 years (p = 0.021). One or more DDD were registered in 30.4% of the survivors, with a significantly higher prevalence in individuals treated ≤ 5 years (p < 0.001). Hypodontia was the most prevalent type of DDD. There was no difference in DMFT score in relation to age at treatment. Oral dryness was not frequently reported or observed in these survivors.

Conclusion: Survivors of childhood MB/CNS-PNET are at risk of oral and dental late effects including reduced mouth opening and DDD. The risk is highest in survivors treated before the age of 5.

Keywords: Dental caries; Late effects; Oral and dental; Pediatric brain tumors; Survivors; Tooth abnormalities.

MeSH terms

  • Anodontia*
  • Brain Neoplasms* / epidemiology
  • Brain Neoplasms* / therapy
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Dental Caries*
  • Humans
  • Mouth Abnormalities*
  • Neuroectodermal Tumors, Primitive* / pathology
  • Prevalence
  • Survivors