Schwabing Academic Teaching Hospital

München, Germany

Schwabing Academic Teaching Hospital

München, Germany

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Reithmeier T.,Schwabing Academic Teaching Hospital | Reithmeier T.,Albert Ludwigs University of Freiburg | Kuzeawu A.,Service de Neurochirurgie | Hentschel B.,University of Leipzig | And 4 more authors.
BMC Cancer | Year: 2014

Background: Adult brainstem gliomas are rare primary brain tumors (<2% of gliomas). The goal of this study was to analyze clinical, prognostic and therapeutic factors in a large series of histologically proven brainstem gliomas.Methods: Between 1997 and 2007, 104 patients with a histologically proven brainstem glioma were retrospectively analyzed. Data about clinical course of disease, neuropathological findings and therapeutic approaches were analyzed.Results: The median age at diagnosis was 41 years (range 18-89 years), median KPS before any operative procedure was 80 (range 20-100) and median survival for the whole cohort was 18.8 months. Histopathological examinations revealed 16 grade I, 31 grade II, 42 grade III and 14 grade IV gliomas. Grading was not possible in 1 patient. Therapeutic concepts differed according to the histopathology of the disease. Median overall survival for grade II tumors was 26.4 months, for grade III tumors 12.9 months and for grade IV tumors 9.8 months. On multivariate analysis the relative risk to die increased with a KPS ≤ 70 by factor 6.7, with grade III/IV gliomas by the factor 1.8 and for age ≥ 40 by the factor 1.7. External beam radiation reduced the risk to die by factor 0.4.Conclusion: Adult brainstem gliomas present with a wide variety of neurological symptoms and postoperative radiation remains the cornerstone of therapy with no proven benefit of adding chemotherapy. Low KPS, age ≥ 40 and higher tumor grade have a negative impact on overall survival. © 2014 Reithmeier et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.


Adult brainstem gliomas are rare primary brain tumors (<2% of gliomas). The goal of this study was to analyze clinical, prognostic and therapeutic factors in a large series of histologically proven brainstem gliomas.Between 1997 and 2007, 104 patients with a histologically proven brainstem glioma were retrospectively analyzed. Data about clinical course of disease, neuropathological findings and therapeutic approaches were analyzed.The median age at diagnosis was 41 years (range 18-89 years), median KPS before any operative procedure was 80 (range 20-100) and median survival for the whole cohort was 18.8 months. Histopathological examinations revealed 16 grade I, 31 grade II, 42 grade III and 14 grade IV gliomas. Grading was not possible in 1 patient. Therapeutic concepts differed according to the histopathology of the disease. Median overall survival for grade II tumors was 26.4 months, for grade III tumors 12.9 months and for grade IV tumors 9.8 months. On multivariate analysis the relative risk to die increased with a KPS 70 by factor 6.7, with grade III/IV gliomas by the factor 1.8 and for age 40 by the factor 1.7. External beam radiation reduced the risk to die by factor 0.4.Adult brainstem gliomas present with a wide variety of neurological symptoms and postoperative radiation remains the cornerstone of therapy with no proven benefit of adding chemotherapy. Low KPS, age 40 and higher tumor grade have a negative impact on overall survival.

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