Long-term neurologic health and psychosocial function of adult survivors of childhood medulloblastoma/PNET: a report from the Childhood Cancer Survivor Study.

Publication Type:

Journal Article


Neuro-oncology (2016)


BACKGROUND: Medulloblastoma is the most common malignant childhood brain tumor, although long-term risks for chronic neurologic health and psychosocial functioning in aging adult survivors are incompletely characterized.

METHODS: The Childhood Cancer Survivor Study (CCSS) includes 380 five-year survivors of medulloblastoma/primitive neuroectodermal tumor (PNET; median age at follow-up: 30 y, interquartile range 24-36) and sibling comparison (n = 4031). Cumulative incidence of neurologic health conditions was reported. Cox regression models provided hazard ratios (HRs) and 95% CIs. Cross-sectional outcomes were assessed using generalized linear models.

RESULTS: Compared with siblings, survivors were at increased risk of late-onset hearing loss (HR: 36.0, 95% CI: 23.6-54.9), stroke (HR: 33.9, 95% CI: 17.8-64.7), seizure (HR: 12.8, 95% CI: 9.0-18.1), poor balance (HR: 10.4, 95% CI: 6.7-15.9), tinnitus (HR: 4.8, 95% CI: 3.5-6.8), and cataracts (HR: 31.8, 95% CI: 16.7-60.5). Temporal/frontal lobe radiotherapy of 50 Gy or more increased risk for hearing loss (HR: 1.9, 95% CI: 1.1-1.3), seizure (HR: 2.1, 95% CI: 1.1-3.9), stroke (HR: 3.5, 95% CI: 1.3-9.1), and tinnitus (HR: 2.0, 95% CI: 1.0-3.9). Survivors were less likely than siblings to earn a college degree (relative risk [RR]: 0.49, 95% CI: 0.39-0.60), marry (RR: 0.35, 95% CI: 0.29-0.42), and live independently (RR: 0.58, 95% CI: 0.52-0.66).

CONCLUSIONS: Adult survivors of childhood medulloblastoma/PNET demonstrate pronounced risk for hearing impairment, stroke, lower educational attainment, and social independence. Interventions to support survivors should be a high priority.