Analysis of survival in pediatric high-grade brainstem gliomas: A population-based study

Sandi Lam*, Yimo Lin, Brenda Auffinger, Stephanie Melkonian

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Background: The purpose of this study was to use the National Cancer InstitutesSurveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) database to perform a large-scale analysis of brainstem anaplastic astrocytoma (AA) and glioblastoma multiforme (GBM). Use of the SEER database gave us a larger sample size of this rare tumor type, allowing for the analysis of the relationship between prognostic factors and survival. Materials and Methods: We selected pediatric patients (<18 years old) from the SEER database with histologically confirmed diagnoses of primary high-grade gliomas (World Health Organization Grade III/IV) of the brainstem. In univariate and multivariate analysis, we analyzed the relationship between demographic (age, gender, race, diagnosis date), histologic (AA, GBM), and treatment (surgery, radiation) factors on survival. Results: In our cohort of 124 patients, those with AA had a median survival of 13 months and those with GBM 9 months. Higher-grade tumors were associated with statistically significantly increased mortality (hazard ratio [HR]: 1.74, confidence intervals [CIs]: 1.17-2.60). Surgical intervention was associated with a significantly lower mortality, either alone (HR: 0.14, CI: 0.04-0.5) or in combination with radiation (HR: 0.35, CI: 0.15-0.82). Radiation therapy alone was significantly associated with decreased mortality within the first 9 months after diagnosis but not with overall mortality. No demographic characteristics were significantly associated with mortality. Conclusions: Outcome remains poor in the pediatric high-grade brainstem glioma population. Survival is correlated with lower-grade tumor histology, radiation therapy only in the first 9 months after diagnosis, and surgical resection.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)199-206
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Pediatric Neurosciences
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 1 2015


  • Anaplastic astrocytoma
  • SEER
  • brainstem tumor
  • glioblastoma
  • population-based outcomes study

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Neuroscience
  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


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