Management and Survival of Adult Patients with Pilocytic Astrocytoma in the National Cancer Database

Kevin J. Lee, Eduardo Marchan, Jennifer Peterson, Anna C. Harrell, Alfredo Quinones-Hinojosa, Paul D. Brown, Daniel M. Trifiletti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Background: Adult pilocytic astrocytomas (PAs) are relatively rare central nervous system (CNS) tumors with a favorable prognosis. We sought to investigate existing clinical management strategies and overall survival (OS) as a function of various clinical characteristics in a cohort of adult patients with PA. Methods: The study cohort comprised all patients age >18 years diagnosed with a CNS PA diagnosed between 2004 and 2014 and included in the National Cancer Database. Clinical and treatment-related characteristics were recorded and analyzed for associations with OS following diagnosis using univariate and multivariate analyses. Results: A total of 3057 adult patients, with a median age of 32 years, met the inclusion criteria. At diagnosis, 1138 patients (41%) had cerebral tumors, 832 (30%) had cerebellar tumors, 252 (9%) had tumors of the spinal cord, and 534 (19%) had tumors of unspecified location. More than three-quarters (77%) of the patients underwent surgery alone as local therapy, with the remainder split among surgery plus radiation (11.9%), radiation alone (4.5%), and biopsy alone (6.9%). On multivariate analysis, factors associated with inferior OS included older age (hazard ratio [HR], 1.05; P < 0.001), lower income (P < 0.001), higher Charlson/Deyo score (P = 0.023), larger tumor size (P = 0.023), and radiation therapy technique (P < 0.001; HR, 3.37 for external beam radiation therapy [EBRT]). Conclusions: Our data provide large-scale prognostic information from a contemporary cohort of patients with PA, confirming that age, median income, Charlson/Deyo Score, and tumor size have significant effects on OS. Although resection status, tumor size, and location likely bias against EBRT, novel therapeutics are clearly needed in patients with tumors not amenable to resection or radiosurgery.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)e881-e887
JournalWorld neurosurgery
StatePublished - Apr 2018


  • Brain
  • Grade I
  • Radiation
  • Radiosurgery
  • Resection

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Clinical Neurology


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