BACKGROUND: Primary pediatric extraspinal sacrococcygeal ependymoma (ESE) is a very rare disease, poorly described in literature, whose diagnostic, therapeutic, and follow-up approach is still controversial.
METHODS: We describe six cases of pediatric ESE treated at Associazione Italiana Ematologia Oncologia Pediatrica (AIEOP) centers in Italy since 1983, with a review of the literature.
RESULTS: All six patients had primary sacrococcygeal disease (two presacral and four subcutaneous) with median age of 10 years. Three patients were males, and two of them are metastatic at diagnosis; 3/6 had myxopapillary ependymoma grade I and 3/6 had classic ependymoma grade II. Five patients underwent surgical resection with complete removal only in one case with coccygectomy. Adjuvant chemoradiotherapy was administered to one metastatic patient obtaining a complete remission. Two patients relapsed at 3 and 8 years from diagnosis: they were treated with salvage chemotherapy (high-dose sequential chemotherapy with myeloablative regimen in one case), surgery, and radiotherapy achieving complete remission (CR). All six patients are in complete continuous remission (CCR) at a median follow-up of 12.8 years.
CONCLUSIONS: Pediatric patients with this peculiar disease need to be referred to specialized pediatric cancer centers that can provide multidisciplinary treatment after a centralized pathology review. Our experience highlights the role of chemotherapy and radiotherapy in adjuvant and relapse setting. The final prognosis is relatively optimistic, but with a careful follow-up due to the high risk of recurrence.