Neuroblastoma with intracerebral metastases and the need for neurosurgery: a single-center experience

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OBJECTIVE

Intracerebral metastases in neuroblastoma patients are rare, and information about the indication for and the outcome of neurosurgical procedures in this setting is scarce in the literature. The authors’ aim in the present study was to report a single-center experience with the neurosurgical treatment of intracerebral metastases in neuroblastoma.

METHODS

This study is a retrospective single-center analysis of all neurosurgical strategies used in the treatment of intracerebral metastases in neuroblastoma patients.

RESULTS

Between 2009 and 2017, 237 pediatric patients (94 girls, 143 boys) with a mean age of 39 months at diagnosis were treated for neuroblastoma. Five (2.1%) of the 237 patients had a neurosurgical procedure for intracerebral metastases. The metastases occurred a mean of 46 months after initial diagnosis. All of these patients had neuroblastoma stage 4. Indications for surgery were recurrent metastases after initial successful oncological treatment or progression of the metastasis under oncological treatment as well as deterioration of neurological function. Intraoperatively, the tumor usually had a distinguishable dissection plane but was infiltrative to adjacent nerves in some spots. Mean overall survival after the neurosurgical procedure was 22 months. Furthermore, in another 3 patients, a neurosurgical procedure was done for an intracranial but extracerebral metastasis.

CONCLUSIONS

Neurosurgical procedures for intracerebral metastases in neuroblastoma patients are rare and were performed in 2.1% of patients in the present study. Intracerebral metastases occurred during disease progression, and the prognosis after surgery was very limited. The main indications for surgery were rapid neurological deterioration or recurrence of the metastasis after initial successful oncological treatment. Intraoperatively, the metastases usually had a distinguishable dissection plane from the normal brain tissue.

ABBREVIATIONS CTX = chemotherapy; GTR = gross-total resection; RTX = radiotherapy; STR = subtotal resection.
Article Information

Contributor Notes

Correspondence Steffen Fleck: University Medicine Greifswald, Germany. steffen.fleck@uni-greifswald.de.INCLUDE WHEN CITING Published online October 11, 2019; DOI: 10.3171/2019.7.PEDS19143.

S.F. and S.M. share first authorship.

Disclosures The authors report no conflict of interest concerning the materials or methods used in this study or the findings specified in this paper.
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