Curative Treatment for Central Nervous System Medulloepithelioma despite Residual Disease after Resection Report of Two Cases Treated According to the GPHO Protocol HIT 2000 and Review of the Literature
Medulloepithelioma of the central nervous system (CNS) is an uncommon primitive neuroectodermal tumor (PNET) usually occurring in early childhood. It is characterized by highly malignant behavior with a propensity for progression, recurrence, and dissemination despite intensive therapy. Due to its rarity, the optimal management is still unknown. However, gross total resection (GTR) has been considered crucial to achieve cure. In this article, the authors report on 2 cases of CNS medulloepithelioma in which long-term survival (more than 6 years) could be achieved despite evidence of, or suspected postoperative residual disease with an otherwise dismal prognosis. The patients were treated according to different strata of the protocol for primitive neuroectodermal tumors (PNET) of the German–Austrian multicenter trial of the German Society for Pediatric Oncology and Hematology (GPOH) for childhood brain tumors (HIT 2000). Treatment included postoperative hyperfractionated radiotherapy of the craniospinal axis followed by a boost to the tumor site in combination with chemotherapy. A review of the 2 reported and 37 previously published cases confirmed GTR and older age as positive prognostic factors.