Age of diagnosis clinically differentiates atypical teratoid/rhabdoid tumors diagnosed below age of 3 years: a database study

Victor M. Lu, Long Di, Daniel G. Eichberg, Evan M. Luther, Ashish H. Shah, David J. Daniels, Ossama M. Maher, Toba N. Niazi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Background: Atypical teratoid/rhabdoid tumor (ATRT) is a rare and largely pediatric diagnosis, with poor survival. Diagnosis below the age of 3 years is characteristically seen as a poor prognostic sign. However, elucidating if clinical differences exist within this niche age group has never been attempted before. Correspondingly, we sought to characterize clinical profile of ATRT diagnoses before the age of 3 years based on separate ages of diagnosis. Methods: All pediatric ATRT patients aged < 3 years in the US National Cancer Database (NCDB) between 2005 and 2016 were retrospectively reviewed. Age groups were divided based on diagnoses at ages 0–1 years in group 1, 1–2 years in group 2, and 2–3 years in group 3. Data were summarized, and overall survival (OS) was modeled using Kaplan–Meier and Cox regression analyses. Results: A total of 354 ATRT diagnoses were made before the age of 3 years, with surgery used in 316 (89%) cases, chemotherapy in 242 (68%) cases, and radiation therapy in 118 (33%) cases. In terms of diagnosis age, there were 153 (43%) in group 1, 137 (39%) in group 2, and 64 (18%) in group 3. With respect to OS, median value was 9.9 months in group 1, 28.4 months in group 2, and 15.9 months in group 3. Upon multivariate analysis, receiving radiation therapy was the only parameter shared amongst all three groups as independently prognostic of longer OS (HR 0.53, P = 0.01 in group 1; HR 0.34, P < 0.01 in group 2; HR 0.31, P < 0.01 in group 3). In group 1, surgery (HR 0.47, P < 0.01) and chemotherapy (HR 0.44, P < 0.01) were also independently prognostic of longer OS. In group 3, multiple socioeconomic parameters were identified to independently predict longer OS. There were no additional predictive parameters identified in group 2. Conclusion: Although ATRT diagnosed before the age of 3 is typically viewed a poor prognostic age category, our findings demonstrate that the clinical profile of this pediatric niche is highly heterogeneous based on age of diagnosis. Survival of only those diagnosed between 0 and 1 years is independently prognosticated by all three treatment modalities; patients diagnosed between 1 and 2 years trend towards longest survival, and socioeconomic parameters are most influential in those diagnosed between 2 and 3 years.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1077-1085
Number of pages9
JournalChild's Nervous System
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2021


  • AT/RT
  • Atypical teratoid/rhabdoid tumor
  • Infant
  • NCDB
  • Pediatric
  • Survival

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Clinical Neurology


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