Second-look surgery for ependymoma: The Italian experience - Clinical article

Maura Massimino, Carlo Lazzaro Solero, Maria Luisa Garrè, Veronica Biassoni, Armando Cama, Lorenzo Genitori, Concezio Di Rocco, Iacopo Sardi, Elisabetta Viscardi, Piergiorgio Modena, Paolo Potepan, Salvina Barra, Giovanni Scarzello, Ercole Galassi, Felice Giangaspero, Manila Antonelli, Lorenza Gandola

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Object. Complete ependymoma resection ensures a better prognosis for children with this tumor, but the complete excision of infratentorial ependymomas involves serious risks. Second-look surgery for tumor remnants may be less harmful and enable complete removal. There is a potential, although still unclear, role for neoadjuvant chemotherapy in preparation for further surgery. Methods. Since 1994, the authors have adopted two successive protocols for intracranial ependymoma, both including a phase of adjuvant chemotherapy for children with surgical tumor remnants with a plan for potential second-look surgery before radiotherapy. Results. In the first protocol, 9 of 63 children underwent further surgery, and 6 became tumor free with no additional sequelae. Their prognosis for progression-free survival and freedom from local relapse was comparable to that of children who were operated on only once. In the second protocol, efforts were made to achieve complete resection and 29 of 110 patients underwent reoperations: 9 after the first surgery, 17 after chemotherapy, and 3 soon after radiotherapy. Fourteen of the 29 patients became tumor free, 1 of them with worsening neurological symptoms. The outcome of the 66 patients who became tumor free after 1 operation was compared with that of the 14 who became tumor free after reoperation. The 3-year progression-free survival of the 66 patients compared with the 14 other patients was 71.4% ± 6.9% and 90% ± 9.5%, respectively; the 3-year freedom from local relapse was 84.7% ± 5.9% and 90% ± 9.5%, respectively; and the 3-year overall survival was 85.9% ± 5.4% and 87.5% ± 11.7%, respectively. Conclusions. Second-look surgery proved feasible with no major morbidity, and results improved with time. Local tumor control was comparable in patients undergoing 1 or more resections.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)246-250
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Neurosurgery: Pediatrics
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2011


  • Complete resection
  • Oncology
  • Pediatric ependymoma
  • Prognosis
  • Second-look surgery

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Surgery
  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


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