Background: This study reports changes in long-term survival after the introduction of modern imaging in pediatric patients with low-grade gliomas (LGGs).
Methods: Records from 351 consecutive pediatric patients diagnosed with LGG between 1970 and 2009 at Mayo Clinic Rochester were reviewed and divided into diagnosis before (group I: 1970 to 1989) and after (group II: 1990 to 2009) postoperative magnetic resonance imaging became regularly used in pediatric LGG.
Results: Median progression-free survival (PFS) and overall survival (OS) were not reached. Overall, 10-year PFS was 62% and OS was 90%. On multivariate analysis, improved PFS was associated with gross total resection (GTR; P<0.0001) and postoperative radiation therapy (RT; P<0.0001). In those undergoing less than GTR, PFS was improved with RT, nearing rates of patients receiving GTR (P=0.12). On multivariate analysis, higher OS was associated with GTR (P<0.0001) and pilocytic histology (P=0.03). Group II had fewer headaches, fewer sensory/motor symptoms, less postoperative RT, and more GTRs. OS and PFS were not different between the groups.
Conclusions: This large series of pediatric LGG patients with long-term follow-up found no significant changes in OS or PFS over time. Overall, GTR was associated with improved OS and PFS. RT was associated with an improvement in PFS, with the greatest benefit seen in patients undergoing less than GTR.