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Cancer Res Treat. 2005 Apr;37(2):109-113. English. Original Article.
Hong S , Kim IH , Wang KC .
Department of Radiation Oncology, Konkuk University College of Medicine, Korea.
Department of Radiation Oncology, Seoul National University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea.
Institute of Radiation Medicine, Medical Research Center, Seoul National University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea.
Cancer Research Institute, Seoul National University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea.
Department of Neurosurgery, Seoul National University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea.

PURPOSE: The outcome and prognostic factors of brainstem glioma were evaluated following radiotherapy methods. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Between 1986 and 2001, 45 childhood patients with diffuse brainstem glioma were treated. There were 26 boys and 19 girls, with a median age of 7 years (range 3~18). The histopathological diagnoses were confirmed in 13 patients, which revealed a low-grade glioma in four patients, and high-grade glioma in the other nine. Before 1993, radiation therapy using a regime of 1.8 to 2.0 Gy once a day was performed in 16 cases; thereafter, a regimes of 1.1 or 1.5 Gy twice a day was given in 15 and 14 cases, respectively. Nine patients were treated with adjuvant chemotherapy. The response to the treatment was evaluated by the MRI findings 4 weeks after radiotherapy. RESULTS: After radiotherapy, the neurological deficit improved in 42 of the 45 patients (93%). The MRI responses were as follows; partial response 22/39 (56%), minimal to no response in 16/39 (41%) and tumor progression in 1/39 (3%). The median time to disease progression was 7 months, and the median survival was 12 months; the overall survival rate at 1 year was 41%. There was no significant prognostic factor for overall survival. The progression-free survival was influenced by the tumor histology (low grade vs. high grade, p=0.05) in those patients whose pathology was confirmed. CONCLUSION: The radiation therapy fractionation schedule did not influence the survival. Low grade histology was a possible favorable prognostic factor of progression-free survival in pediatric brainstem glioma patients.

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