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2020 Aug 26

J Adolesc Young Adult Oncol

Treatment and Outcomes for Central Nervous System Tumors in Australian Adolescents and Young Adults: A Population-Based National Study.


Harrup R, White VM, Coory M, Walker R, Anazodo A, Skaczkowski G, Bibby H, Osborn M, Phillips MB, Conyers R, Thompson K, Orme LM, Pinkerton R, Nicholls W
J Adolesc Young Adult Oncol. 2020 Aug 26.
PMID: 32856982.


While central nervous system (CNS) tumors account for only 10% of adolescent and young adult (AYA) cancers, they are the leading cause of cancer death in this age group. Using national data for Australia, we describe the presentation, treatment, and survival for AYAs diagnosed with CNS tumors. A population-based study of 15-24 year-olds diagnosed with CNS tumors (low- and high-grade glioma [LGG, HGG], medulloblastoma [MB], primitive neuroectodermal tumors [PNET], ependymoma [EP]) or other (e.g., low-grade neuronal tumor) between 2007 and 2012. Clinical details were extracted from hospital medical records for each patient. Treatment centers were classified as pediatric or adult services. Two hundred seventy-five patients (129 LGG, 77 HGG, 23 MB, 10 PNET, 19 EP, 17 other) were identified, with 17% treated at pediatric hospitals. Symptoms (headache [53%], nausea [31%]) were present for a median of 3 weeks before consulting a health professional. Of LGG patients, 15% had radiotherapy (RT) and 12% chemotherapy (CT). Of HGG patients, 81% had RT and 75% CT. All MB and PNET were managed with surgery, and 74% of MB and 80% of PNET had both RT and CT. Treatment did not differ by treatment center type. Five-year survival for LGG and EP was over 80%, but was 42% for HGG and 20% for PNET. This national, population-based study indicates similar treatment for AYA patients with CNS tumors between pediatric and adult services. Poor outcomes for HGG and PNET patients highlight the need for clinical trials of novel approaches for these tumors.