Medulloblastoma in adults: Clinical characteristics and treatment

A. A. Brandes, V. Palmisano, S. Monfardini

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Long-term survival is possible in adults with medulloblastoma with rates of approximately 50-60% at 5 years, and 40-50% at 10 years. As the literature data are based on retrospective studies, treatments are neither randomized nor uniform, however; some treatment cornerstones have been identified. The first step is surgery, which should be as radical as possible; adjuvant radiotherapy must be 55 Gy on the posterior fossa, and 36 Gy on the remaining cranial-spinal axis; adjuvant chemotherapy may be useful in patients at high risk of recurrence provided it is administered before radiotherapy in moderate-high dosages and includes cisplatin, etoposide and cyclophosphamide. This chemotherapy program should not overly delay the start of radiotherapy, be recycled as soon as blood count permits and not exceed two or three cycles. Adjuvant chemotherapy after radiotherapy, even if indicated in cases with persistent tumour; may have an adverse effect due to the poor marrow reserves of these patients. At recurrence, the prospects of cure are very poor due to the deficient hematopoietic reserve, but in very young patients high dose chemotherapy with marrow rescue might be usefully employed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3-12
Number of pages10
JournalCancer Treatment Reviews
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Feb 1999


  • Adults
  • Chemotherapy
  • Follow-up
  • Medulloblastoma
  • Pathology
  • Radiotherapy
  • Recurrences
  • Review
  • Therapy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Urology


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