Outcome of teenagers and young adults with ependymoma: The Royal Marsden experience
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- Moreno, L., Bautista, F.J. & Zacharoulis, S. Childs Nerv Syst (2009) 25: 1047. doi:10.1007/s00381-009-0920-9
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The outcome and clinical characteristics of teenagers and young adults (TYA) with ependymoma have not been well documented. We report the Royal Marsden Hospital experience treating TYA with ependymoma.
Materials and methods
Sixteen TYA were treated for ependymoma from 1971 to 2004 and are compared to 24 children (not infants) treated in the same period.
Twelve TYA (75%) received treatment in a neuro-oncology unit. Average time from symptoms to diagnosis was 183 days for TYA vs. 61.2 for children (p = 0.005). Two TYA (12.5% vs. 41.6% for children, p = 0.08) were enrolled in a clinical trial. Only 25% of TYA achieved gross total resection, all of them received radiotherapy and five of them received chemotherapy. There were five relapses; all of them were local. Five-year overall survival was 84.6% ± 10 for TYA vs. 78.1% ± 8.7 for children (p = 0.15), and 5-year progression-free survival was 66.6% ± 12.3 for TYA vs. 44.4% ± 10.3 for children (p = 0.08). Up to 56% of patients treated in the paediatric unit received psychosocial support vs. 42.9% of patients treated in the adult unit.
Ependymoma in adolescents and young adults is an infrequent entity, with perhaps better outcome compared to children. The extent of surgical resection as seen in children is an important prognostic factor. Providing adolescents with ependymoma the appropriate neuro-oncologic care, including access to multidisciplinary teams, full access to clinical trials and age-appropriate neuro-oncologic ancillary support services, remains a challenge.