Radiation therapy is often considered the treatment of choice for low-grade gliomas. However, given the long-term effects of radiation on the developing brain, the appropriate use of radiation therapy in pediatric patients remains controversial. The purpose of this study was to evaluate progression-free survival (PFS) of pediatric low-grade glioma patients treated with radiation therapy. Data were obtained through a retrospective chart review of patients treated between 1991 and 2008 from a single tertiary care center in the midwest. The study population consisted of 17 patients, of whom 8 (47%) had tumor recurrence after radiation therapy. The median follow-up time was 8.2 years, with a range of 2.3 to 17.2 years. The median age at diagnosis was 5.4 years, and the median age at radiation therapy was 9.4 years. The 3- and the 10-year PFS were 69%±11.7% and 46%±13.3%, respectively. A significant difference in PFS was seen when comparing brainstem tumors with hypothalamic/optic pathway tumors (P=0.019). Differences in PFS based on the age at diagnosis, the extent of initial surgery, and indication for radiation therapy were not significant. A larger multicenter study is needed to better assess PFS in these patients.
- pediatric low-grade gliomas
- radiation therapy low-grade astrocytoma