Journal of Neuro-Oncology

, Volume 101, Issue 2, pp 287–295

Quality of life and behavioral follow-up study of Head Start I pediatric brain tumor survivors

  • Stephen A. Sands
  • Keith P. Pasichow
  • Rebecca Weiss
  • James Garvin
  • Sharon Gardner
  • Ira J. Dunkel
  • Jonathan L. Finlay
Clinical Study – Patient Study


To evaluate the Quality of Life (QoL) and Social–Emotional/Behavioral functioning of survivors treated on the “Head Start I” protocol at participating medical centers across the United States between 1991 and 1997. Parents of 25 of 27 (92.5%) patients completed the Child Health Questionnaire PF-50 (CHQ), to assess their child’s QoL, along with the Behavior Assessment System for Children (BASC), to assess their social–emotional/behavioral functioning, after a mean follow-up of 5.7 years (range 13–96 months). Nineteen (76%) of the 25 parents subsequently completed the same instruments after a mean of 11.6 years (range 90–181 months), three (12%) patients died of disease and three (12%) were lost to follow-up. Mean Physical and Psychosocial QoL Summary Scores on the CHQ at Time 1 (T1) and Time 2 (T2) were within the normal range. Of the ten individual means for CHQ subscales, nine were within normal limits with the exception of Parental Emotional Impact at T1 and General Health at T2. Additionally, mean scores on the BASC at T1 and T2 were within normal limits for Externalizing and Internalizing Behaviors as well as Adaptive Skills. Serial analyses between T1 and T2 revealed non-significant changes over time with the exception of decreased General Health on the CHQ. The lack of QoL and Social–Emotional/Behavioral deficits suggests that the Head Start I protocol, involving intensive induction followed by myeloablative chemotherapy and autologous hematopoietic cell rescue in order to avoid or delay cranial irradiation, provides encouraging pilot data warranting continued monitoring.


Quality of life Late effects Social–emotional Behavioral Pediatric brain tumor Head Start 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC. 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Stephen A. Sands
    • 1
    • 8
  • Keith P. Pasichow
    • 2
  • Rebecca Weiss
    • 3
  • James Garvin
    • 4
  • Sharon Gardner
    • 5
  • Ira J. Dunkel
    • 6
  • Jonathan L. Finlay
    • 7
  1. 1.Departments of Pediatrics and PsychiatryColumbia University College of Physicians and SurgeonsNew YorkUSA
  2. 2.Department of PediatricsSteven and Alexandra Cohen Children’s Medical Center of New York, North Shore—Long Island Jewish Health SystemNew YorkUSA
  3. 3.Department of PsychologyFordham UniversityNew YorkUSA
  4. 4.Department of PediatricsColumbia University College of Physicians and SurgeonsNew YorkUSA
  5. 5.Department of PediatricsNYU School of MedicineNew YorkUSA
  6. 6.Department of PediatricsMemorial Sloan Kettering Cancer CenterNew YorkUSA
  7. 7.Department of Pediatrics, Children’s Center for Cancer and Blood Diseases, Children’s Hospital Los Angeles and the Keck School of MedicineUniversity of Southern California School of MedicineLos AngelesUSA
  8. 8.Herbert Irving Child and Adolescent Oncology CenterColumbia University College of Physicians and SurgeonsNew YorkUSA

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