Therapeutic results in children with brain tumors – a single center experience over 18 years
Background and aims. Tumors of the central nervous system represent the main cause of death by cancer in children. The diagnosis and molecular classification of these neoplasms have seen great improvement in the past years, due to ongoing genomic advances. In general, the treatment consists of surgery, radiation therapy and chemotherapy. However, the currently available pharmacological treatment options have limited effectiveness due to the particular characteristics of the blood-brain barrier.
Methods. We decided to study the therapeutic results in children treated for brain tumors in the Cluj-Napoca “Prof. dr. Ion Chiricuta” Oncology Institute, between 2001 and 2018, in order to provide a more accurate understanding of the disease and the available therapeutic options in our center.
Results. Out of the 207 cases included in this study, we recorded 98 deaths (47.3%). This is significantly less than the 5-year survival rate recorded in the US between 2012 and 2018 (74.9%). There are many factors that could explain the low survival rate, such as a very late diagnosis, the inability to implement innovative radiation therapy techniques until 2018, and the fact that between 2001 and 2010 the chemotherapy regimens in our center were not as effective as the more recent ones.
Conclusions. The therapeutic results recorded in this study are similar to those in other middle-income countries, however, the available treatment options for pediatric brain tumors are not as effective as those currently in use for other pediatric and adult malignancies.