Risk factors and long-term survival in adult patients with primary malignant spinal cord astrocytomas

Albert P. Wong, Nader S. Dahdaleh, Richard G. Fessler, Stephanie C. Melkonian, Yimo Lin, Zachary Adam Smith, Sandi K. Lam*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

38 Scopus citations


Primary intramedullary spinal cord tumors are a rare entity, comprising 4-10 % of all spinal cord tumors. The current report presents data on intramedullary spinal cord anaplastic astrocytomas and glioblastomas in adults using the national surveillance, epidemiology, and end results database (1973-2008), and evaluates the impact of demographic and treatment factors on survival. Eighty nine adults were evaluated (mean age of 43 years); 49 % of patients had anaplastic astrocytoma and 51 % of patients had glioblastoma. 88 % of patients had surgical intervention and 85 % of patients had radiotherapy. In univariate analysis, male gender (HR = 0.50, CI: 0.29-0.86, P = 0.01), surgical treatment (HR = 0.37, CI: 0.15-0.93, P = 0.03), and tumor histology (HR = 1.83, CI: 1.06-3.18, P = 0.03) were significant predictors of survival. Results remained significant or marginally significant after multivariate adjustment analyses. Adjuvant radiotherapy and age at diagnosis did not have a significant influence on survival. Future prospective studies from collaborative institutions combining richer detail in perioperative treatment, radiotherapy dosing, chemotherapy treatment, neurologic examinations, functional outcomes, and quality of life measures would contribute to more concrete, evidence-based treatment protocols for adult patients with primary malignant spinal cord astrocytomas.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)493-503
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Neuro-Oncology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Dec 1 2013


  • Intramedullary astrocytoma
  • Intramedullary tumor
  • SEER
  • Spinal cord astrocytoma
  • Spinal cord tumor

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Cancer Research


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