To present the results of treatment for childhood brain tumors in Serbia.
The medical records of patients with brain tumors diagnosed and operated at the Institute of Neurosurgery, Clinical Center of Serbia and treated with postoperative radiotherapy and chemotherapy at the Institute of Oncology and Radiology of Serbia, Belgrade, between January 1995 and December 2004, were reviewed. Of the 247 patients who were identified, 212 formed the basis of this study. Overall survival (OS) was determined by the Kaplan-Maier method, using log-rank test for comparisons.
With a mean follow up of 46.9-33.6 months (range 7-120), the 5-and 8-year OS rates were 70.0% and 61.5%, respectively. At the time of evaluation 119 (60.1%) patients had no evidence of disease. Among 79 patients who failed therapy, most of them (n=61; 77.2%) had local failure only. According to histologic tumor type most of them (n=27; 34.2%) were in the group of malignant medulloblastoma. Girls had better survival than boys, but without statistical significance (p=0.185). Also, no significant difference in survival in relation to age was seen (p=0.291). Patients with supratentorial tumors had significantly better survival than those with infratentorial localizations (p=0.036). Patients with low grade astrocytomas had significantly better survival than malignant gliomas, ependymomas and primitive neuroectodermal tumors (PNETs) (p=0.0001).
OS rates were concordant with the results of other modern series. Although the survival rates were encouraging, there is still significant room for improvement in the management of childhood brain tumors.