CERN Investigators Publish New Paper on the Clinical Course and Progression-Free Survival of Adult Intracranial and Spinal Ependymoma Patients
Ependymomas are rare central nervous system tumors. Previous studies that described the clinical course of ependymoma patients were restricted to small sample sizes, often only including patients at a specific institution. The CERN Foundation investigators have established a the world’s largest collection of ependymoma tissues. This repository contains several hundred ependymoma tissue samples from 19 institutions. Importantly, critical clinical information is available for all of these samples. The report of the association of clinical factors with progression free survival was initially reported at the Society of Neuro-Oncology Meeting and was recently published in Neuro-Oncology. Tumor recurrence (regrowth) occurred in 26% (n = 74) of patients in the CERN collection with a median time to progression of 14 years. A multivariate Cox proportional hazards model that looks for important factors associated with prognosis identified supratentorial location (P < .01), grade III (anaplastic; P < .01), and subtotal resection, followed or not by radiation (P < .01), as significantly increasing risk of early progression. Differences in the occurrence of progression based on tumor location (supratentorial, infratentorial and spine), supports the growing evidence of that there are critically important differences in tumors based on tumor location in the central nervous system. This underscores the need for further refinement of the diagnosis ultimately leading to more precise treatment of ependymoma.