Malignant Glioma of the Spinal Cord

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As with adults, malignant gliomas ofthe spinal cord are rare. The natural history is not well defined but these tend to be as aggressive as their corresponding tumors in the brain. The standard treatment involves confirmation by biopsy and surgical resection if possible. Following staging with brain and spine MRI, standard dose radiotherapy is considered the standard of care. In a Children's Cancer Group study, 18 children with malignant glioma of the spinal cord were treated with maximal surgical resection, followed by 2 cycles of 8-in-1 chemotherapy, standard involved-field radiotherapy, and then 8 additional cycles of 8-in-1 chemotherapy. The histology of these tumors included 4 GBM, 8 anaplastic astrocytomas, 1 mixed malignant gliomas, and 5 with discordant malignant glioma pathology. The surgical results included six with gross-total or near-total resections, four with partial or subtotal resections, and three with biopsy only. Leptomeningeal spread of tumor was identified in six of these children at the time of diagnosis. The 5-yr PFS as 46 ± 14%. Seven of13 ofthe children (54%) were alive at a median of 76 mo (51-93 months) from the end of treatment (62).

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