RESEARCH SUPPORT, NON-U.S. GOV'T
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Both location and age predict survival in ependymoma: a SEER study.

BACKGROUND: Studies have suggested that supratentorial ependymomas have better survival than infratentorial tumors, with spinal tumors having the best prognosis, but these data have been based on small samples. Using a population-based registry of ependymomas, we analyzed how age, gender, location, race and radiotherapy influence survival in children.

METHODS: We queried the Surveillance Epidemiology End Results database (SEER-17) from 1973 to 2003, strictly defining ependymomas by histology. Site codes were used to distinguish between supratentorial, infratentorial, and spinal tumors when available. Outcomes were compared by location, age, gender, race and radiotherapy, using Kaplan-Meier analysis and logrank tests. Cox regression was completed, incorporating all significant covariates from univariate analysis.

RESULTS: Six hundred thirty-five children were identified with an overall 5-year survival of 57.1 +/- standard error (SE) 2.3%. Increasing age was associated with improved survival (P < 0.0001). Five-year survival by location was 59.5 +/- SE 5.5% supratentorial, 57.1 +/- SE 4.1% infratentorial and 86.7 +/- SE 5.2% spinal. Radiotherapy of the infratentorial tumors resulted in significantly improved survival in both univariate analysis (logrank P < 0.018) and multivariate analysis restricted to this tumor location (P = 0.033). Using multivariate analysis that incorporated all tumor locations, age (P < 0.001) and location (P = 0.020) were significant predictors for survival.

CONCLUSIONS: Age and location independently influence survival in ependymoma. Spinal tumors are associated with a significantly better prognosis than both supratentorial and infratentorial tumors, and may represent a distinct biological entity. Radiotherapy appears beneficial for survival in patients with infratentorial ependymoma.

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