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Keywords:

  • brain tumor;
  • childhood;
  • demographic data;
  • Taiwan

Abstract

BACKGROUND

The purpose of the current study was to investigate a hospital series of 986 cases of primary pediatric brain tumors in Taiwan.

METHODS

The authors reviewed the database of primary pediatric brain tumors in patients < 18 years of age collected in Taipei Veterans General Hospital (Taipei VGH) from 1975 to May 2004. Age and gender distribution, location, and classification of brain tumors were analyzed. Intracranial tumors with diagnostic imaging were included. Nontumoral lesions, cysts, and vascular malformations were excluded.

RESULTS

The mean age of these 986 patients was 7.8 years, and the male to female ratio was 1.4:1. Supratentorial (including pineal–quadrigeminal) located tumors (58.3%) was predominant to infratentorial tumors (41.1%). In these series, 886 patients had either histologic diagnosis (842 patients) or clinical diagnosis (44 patients). The most common 5 categories of tumors were astrocytic tumors (31.1%), germ cell tumors (14.0%), medulloblastomas (13.3%), craniopharyngiomas (8.3%), and ependymal tumors (5.8%). Atypical teratoid/rhabdoid tumors (AT/RTs), a rare but highly malignant tumor, were 2.1%. The high incidence of primary intracranial germ cell tumors correlated with reported series from Japan and Korea. For the remaining 100 patients without diagnostic classifications, the majority were most likely astrocytic tumors in brain stem.

CONCLUSIONS

The authors analyzed a large hospital series of primary brain tumors in children. Both histologically verified and unverified tumors were recruited to avoid selective bias. Although it was not a study of a population-based brain tumor registry, it could still be representative of primary pediatric brain tumors in Taiwan. Cancer 2005. © 2005 American Cancer Society.