Choroid plexus carcinomas in childhood: clinical features and prognostic factors

Neurosurgery. 1998 Mar;42(3):470-5. doi: 10.1097/00006123-199803000-00006.


Objective: Choroid plexus carcinomas are rare tumors with dismal prognosis. The role of surgery has been well established, but the benefit of either chemotherapy or radiotherapy remains controversial. To determine prognostic factors and effects of different therapeutic modalities on the outcome, we have reviewed the French experience of choroid plexus carcinoma.

Methods: Twenty-two children were registered in the Société Française d'Oncologie Pédiatrique between 1984 and 1995. All these children underwent surgical resection of the primary tumor. The intent of postoperative treatment was to delay or to avoid radiation therapy. Nineteen children received postoperative treatment, with chemotherapy in 17 and radiation therapy in 2. Two responding patients underwent high-dose chemotherapy with stem cell rescue.

Results: The 5-year survival rate was 26%. The sole relevant prognostic factor was the extent of surgery. Patients with total or gross total resection had a 86% survival rate. Survival did not correlate with age, sex, delay between first appearance of symptoms and diagnosis, location of the primary tumor, tumor volume, or response to postoperative treatment. All but one patient with incomplete surgery had tumor recurrence within 2 to 23 months.

Conclusion: Choroid plexus carcinoma has a very poor prognosis when surgery is incomplete. Aggressive surgical resection of the tumor is necessary for survival. Although chemotherapy gives promising responses, local control remains the main challenge, and "second look" surgery has to be considered for patients with incomplete resection.

MeSH terms

  • Antineoplastic Combined Chemotherapy Protocols / therapeutic use
  • Carcinoma / diagnosis
  • Carcinoma / drug therapy
  • Carcinoma / surgery*
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Choroid Plexus Neoplasms / diagnosis
  • Choroid Plexus Neoplasms / drug therapy
  • Choroid Plexus Neoplasms / surgery*
  • Combined Modality Therapy
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Male
  • Prognosis
  • Survival Analysis
  • Treatment Outcome