Author(s): Khafaga Y, Hassounah M, Kandil A, Kanaan I, Allam A,
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Abstract PURPOSE: Gliomas of the optic pathways are rare childhood central nervous system tumors. The treatment approach is controversial because of its rarity and the slow and unpredictable growth rates of these lesions. METHODS AND MATERIALS: We reviewed 50 patients with the diagnosis of optic pathway low-grade gliomas treated between January 1980 and December 1995 at King Faisal Specialist Hospital and Research Center, Saudi Arabia. Thirty-five patients presented with chiasmatic/hypothalamic (posterior tumors), and 15 with optic nerve gliomas with or without chiasmal involvement (anterior tumors). Evidence of neurofibromatosis was present in 18 patients. Twenty-nine patients underwent surgery (total or partial resection), and 12 of these received postoperative radiotherapy (RT). Sixteen patients were treated with primary RT. The radiation dose varied between 42 and 54 Gy (median dose 50). RESULTS: The overall actuarial survival rate was 87.5\% at 5 years and 75\% at 10 years, and the corresponding progression-free survival (PFS) rates were 69\% and 62\%. Patients with anterior tumors fared better than those with posterior tumors, with a 10-year PFS rate of 72\% and 58\%, respectively; the difference, however, was not statistically significant (p = 0.58). A PFS advantage was found in favor of patients with posterior tumors treated with RT (primary or postoperative) compared with no RT, with 5-year PFS rates of 68\% vs. 42\% (p = 0.03). This, however, did not translate into a survival advantage because of the success of salvage treatment. CONCLUSION: In multivariate analysis, age (<3 vs. >3 years) emerged as the only significant determinant for PFS with patients <3 years old faring worse (p = 0.03). Neurologic and endocrine dysfunction are significant problems that need to be addressed.
This article was published in Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys
and referenced in Atherosclerosis: Open Access