Tumors of the CNS are the main causes of childhood cancer and have an incidence that exceeds that of leukemia. In addition, they are the leading causes of cancer-related death in childhood. High-grade gliomas account for 11% of such neoplasms and are characterized by aggressive clinical behavior and high morbidity and mortality. There is a lack of studies focusing on the factors that can prolong survival in these patients or guide therapeutic interventions. The authors aimed to investigate the factors related to longer survival durations, with a focus on reoperation for gross-total resection (GTR).
In this retrospective cohort study, the authors analyzed 78 patients diagnosed with high-grade gliomas occurring across all CNS locations except diffuse intrinsic pontine gliomas. Patients 0 to < 19 years of age were followed up at the Pediatric Oncology Institute. Overall survival (OS) and progression-free survival (PFS) were analyzed in the context of various prognostic factors, such as age, sex, histology, extent of tumor resection, reoperation for GTR, adjuvant treatment, and treatment initiation from 2010 onward.
With a mean age at diagnosis of 8.7 years, 50% of the patients were female and approximately 39% underwent GTR at some point, which was already achieved in approximately 46% of them in the first surgery. The median OS was 17 months, and PFS was 10 months. In terms of median OS, the authors found no significant difference between those with reoperation for GTR and patients without GTR during treatment. Significant differences were observed in the OS in terms of the extent of resection in the first surgery, age, sex, Ki-67 expression, adjuvant treatment, and treatment initiation from 2010 onward. Furthermore, the PFS values significantly differed between those with GTR in the first surgery and Ki-67 expression ≥ 50%.
This study demonstrates the importance of GTR for these neoplasms, highlights the role of surgeons in its achievement in the first attempt, and questions the role of reoperation for this purpose. Finally, this study further supports the use of combined adjuvant treatment for the improvement of OS and PFS.