INTRODUCTION: Medulloblastoma is the most common malignant brain tumor in children, but accounts for only 1% of brain cancers in adults. For standard-risk pediatric medulloblastoma, current therapy includes craniospinal irradiation (CSI) at reduced doses (23.4 Gy) associated with chemotherapy. Whereas most same-stage adult patients are still given CSI at 36 Gy, with or without chemotherapy, we report here on our use of reduced-dose CSI associated with chemotherapy for older patients.
METHODS: We gathered non-metastatic patients over 18 years old (median age 28 years, range 18-48) with minimal or no residual disease after surgery, no negative histological subtypes, treated between 1996-2018 at the Centre Léon Bérard (Lyon) and the INT (Milano). A series of 54 children with similar tumors treated in Milano was used for comparison.
RESULTS: Forty-four adults were considered (median follow-up 101 months): 36 had 23.4 Gy of CSI, and 8 had 30.6 Gy, plus a boost to the posterior fossa/tumor bed; 43 had chemotherapy as all 54 children, who had a median 83-month follow-up. The PFS and OS were 82.2 ± 6.1% and 89 ± 5.2% at 5 years, and 78.5 ± 6.9% and 75.2 ± 7.8% at ten, not significantly different from those of the children. CSI doses higher than 23.4 Gy did not influence PFS. Female adult patients tended to have a better outcome than males.
CONCLUSION: The results obtained in our combined series are comparable with, or even better than those obtained after high CSI doses, underscoring the need to reconsider this treatment in adults.