Background: Central neurocytoma was described as a well differentiated tumor of neuronal origin, distinct from ganglion cell tumors and neuroblastoma. An initially perceived benign biologic behavior has been questioned by subsequent reports of anaplastic and recurrent tumors. We report six cases of central neurocytoma, with variable clinical and pathologic features that stimulate discussion on the management of these tumors.
Methods: Of the 95 oligodendrogliomas treated in our institution in the last 40 years, three tumors were reclassified as central neurocytomas on histologic reappraisal. Three additional cases prospectively diagnosed as central neurocytomas are reported. The clinical, pathologic, and radiologic features are reviewed.
Results: Early recurrence, not related to malignant histologic features, was noted in two patients who had not received postoperative radiotherapy. Anaplastic histologic changes were not accompanied by malignant biologic behavior in another patient. Neither patient with recurrent tumor was controlled by radiotherapy alone. Chemotherapy with carboplatin reduced tumor size temporarily in one of these patients.
Conclusion: An entirely benign nature for this tumor is questioned and it appears that there may be malignant variants. Surgery should aim for maximum possible excision, as the location of the tumor allows. The role of postoperative radiotherapy remains controversial and may be considered in cases of subtotal excision of tumors with anaplastic histologic features. Chemotherapy may be of benefit in cases recurring despite surgery and radiotherapy.