Pediatric spinal glioblastoma multiforme: Current treatment strategies and possible predictors of survival

Chiagozie Ononiwu, Vivek Mehta, Chetan Bettegowda, George Jallo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


Purpose: Pediatric spinal glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) is rare. Evidence-directed management relies on studies in which such cases are only a subset of a larger group. We reviewed cases of pediatric spinal GBM to assess outcomes and identify prognostic factors related to treatment. Methods: Clinical presentations, radiologic findings, surgical variables, radio- and chemotherapeutic management, and outcomes of eight pathologically proven cases of pediatric spinal GBM were reviewed. Results: Median age was 10 years. All patients presented with motor deficits. Four had sensory symptoms. Average McCormick score at presentation was II. There were three cervical, one cervicothoracic, and four thoracic tumors. Five had cysts. Patients underwent gross total resection (GTR) (n=4), subtotal resection (STR) (n=3), or biopsy (n=1). Four patients improved neurologically after surgery. One patient was lost to follow-up. Seven received both chemo- and radiotherapy. Average overall survival was 15 months. Average survival after STR and GTR were 12.6 and 19.2 months, respectively. In the GTR subset, the 18-month-old patient survived 30 months, while the other two (>10 years) survived an average of 13.75 months. This difference based on age was not seen in the STR subset. Patients survived an average of 17.5 and 10.5 months, respectively, with and without tumoral cysts. Patients with cervical tumors survived an average of 12.5 months, 18.7 months with thoracic tumors, and 11.5 months with a cervicothoracic tumor. Conclusions: Tumor location, presence of a cyst, gross total resection, and younger age are possible predictors of prolonged survival. Radiotherapy and chemotherapy remain widely used.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)715-720
Number of pages6
JournalChild's Nervous System
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2012


  • Glioblastoma
  • Pediatric
  • Spine

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Clinical Neurology


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