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Outcomes Poor Years After Radiation for Pediatric Glioma Survivors

Survivors treated with radiotherapy and at younger ages had poorer neuropsychological, SES outcomes

young boy

TUESDAY, June 25, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Survivors of childhood low-grade gliomas treated with radiotherapy have poorer neuropsychological and socioeconomic-status (SES) outcomes, according to a study published online June 24 in Cancer.

M. Douglas Ris, Ph.D., from Texas Children's Hospital in Houston, and colleagues examined the long-term neuropsychological and SES outcomes for 181 adult survivors of pediatric low-grade gliomas and a comparison group of 105 siblings who were frequency-matched by age and sex. Participants completed a comprehensive battery of standardized neuropsychological tests and an SES assessment. Treatment-specific groups were compared for outcomes.

The researchers found that survivors treated with surgery and radiotherapy scored lower on estimated IQ than those treated with surgery only, who in turn scored lower than siblings (93.9, 101.2, and 108.5, respectively, P < 0.0001 for all). For all outcomes except for attention/processing speed, survivors diagnosed at younger ages had low scores (P < 0.05). In terms of SES outcomes, compared with survivors treated with surgery only, survivors treated with surgery and radiotherapy had lower occupation scores, lower income, and less education (odds ratios, 2.6, 2.6, and 2.1, respectively).

"As pediatric brain tumors become more survivable with continued advances in treatments, we need to improve surveillance of these populations so that survivors continue to receive the best interventions during their transition to adulthood and well beyond," Ris said in a statement.

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