Supratentorial primitive neuroectodermal tumors in children

J Neurooncol. 1996 Jul;29(1):75-84. doi: 10.1007/BF00165520.


A retrospective review of 36 children diagnosed with a supratentorial primitive neuroectodermal tumor (PNET) at the Hospital for Sick Children was performed for the period 1970-1995. All children but one received their initial treatment at our institution. There were 18 males and 18 females and the median age at diagnosis was 35 months. Twenty-two PNETs were lobar, 3 were deep in the hemisphere, and 10 were located in the pineal region. One child presented with intracranial leptomeningeal disseminated disease. The tumors were mostly undifferentiated although 22 had some evidence of differentiation along one or more neuroepithelial lines. Five children had a biopsy, 24 had subtotal resection, and 7 had gross total resection. Twenty-six children had adjuvant radiotherapy and 13 had chemotherapy. At last follow-up 30 patients were dead and 6 were alive. The median survival was 23 months and the 2, 3, and 5 year survivals were 50%, 34%, and 18% respectively. All of the survivors received craniospinal radiation and 4 received chemotherapy. There was a statistically significantly worse survival in young children. There was a trend to better survival in children treated since 1984, and in children undergoing gross total resection. Because of the extremely poor survival, we recommended that all children undergo gross total resection followed by chemotherapy. For children older than 3 years of age craniospinal radiation should also be given.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Antineoplastic Agents / therapeutic use
  • Brain Neoplasms / mortality
  • Brain Neoplasms / pathology
  • Brain Neoplasms / surgery*
  • Brain Neoplasms / therapy
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Combined Modality Therapy
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Male
  • Neuroectodermal Tumors, Primitive / mortality
  • Neuroectodermal Tumors, Primitive / pathology
  • Neuroectodermal Tumors, Primitive / surgery*
  • Neuroectodermal Tumors, Primitive / therapy
  • Radiotherapy Dosage
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Survival Rate
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed


  • Antineoplastic Agents