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Atypical teratoid rhabdoid tumors: a population-based clinical outcomes study involving 174 patients from the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results database (1973–2010)

Authors Lau C, Mahendraraj K, Chamberlain R

Received 14 May 2015

Accepted for publication 8 July 2015

Published 18 September 2015 Volume 2015:7 Pages 301—309


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 4

Editor who approved publication: Dr Kenan Onel

Christine SM Lau,1,2 Krishnaraj Mahendraraj,1 Ronald S Chamberlain1–3

1Department of Surgery, Saint Barnabas Medical Center, Livingston, NJ, USA; 2Saint George's University School of Medicine, Grenada, West Indies; 3Department of Surgery, New Jersey Medical School, Rutgers University, Newark, NJ, USA

Introduction: Atypical teratoid rhabdoid tumors (ATRTs) are rare, highly malignant embryonal tumors of the central nervous system (CNS) accounting for 20% of CNS tumors in children under the age of 3. This study examines a large cohort of ATRT patients to determine demographic, clinical, and pathologic factors which impact prognosis and survival.
Methods: Demographic and clinical data were abstracted on 174 ATRT patients (171 pediatric patients age <20 and 3 adult patients age ≥20) from the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results database (1973–2010). Standard statistical methodology was used.
Results: A total of 174 ATRT cases (mean age of 2.84 years) were identified. ATRT had a higher incidence in males (56.3%), Caucasians (59.1%), and children <3 years of age (80.5%), P<0.001. The most common primary sites were the cerebellum (17.8%), ventricles (16.1%), and frontal lobe (12.6%). Mean overall survival was 3.2±0.4 years, while overall and cancer-specific mortality were 63.2% and 56.3%, respectively, P=0.005. Most ATRT cases were treated with surgery alone (58.0%), followed by a combination of surgery and radiation (34.3%), no treatment (6.5%), and radiation alone (1.2%). The use of combination therapy has increased significantly (16.1%) since 2005 (P<0.001), while primary surgical resection and radiation therapy rates remain relatively unchanged. The longest survival was observed among ATRT patients receiving combination therapy (5.9±0.7 years), followed by radiation alone (2.8±1.2 years), and surgery alone (1.9±0.4 years), P<0.001. Multivariable analysis identified only distant metastases (OR =4.6) as independently associated with increased mortality, whereas combination therapy (OR =0.4) was associated with reduced mortality, P<0.005.
Conclusion: ATRT is a rare and highly aggressive embryonal malignancy of the CNS that presents more often as locoregional tumors >4 cm in male Caucasian children of age <3 years, involving the cerebellum, ventricles, or frontal lobe. Combination therapy significantly improves survival, and its use has been increasing since 2005.

Keywords: childhood brain cancer, pediatric cancer, central nervous system, rare tumors, SEER database

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