Congenital intracranial immature teratomas carry a dismal prognosis, and the usefulness of chemotherapy for these tumors has not been elucidated. The authors report on the successful management of a case of congenital intracranial immature teratoma by using neoadjuvant chemotherapy and surgery after the failure of an initial attempt at resection.
The patient was an infant who had begun vomiting frequently at the age of 12 days and had been admitted to a hospital at the age of 18 days with continued vomiting, increased head circumference, and disturbance of consciousness. A CT scan of the brain revealed a large mass in his posterior fossa and hydrocephalus. Surgery was performed on an emergent basis, but only minor tumor resection could be performed due to massive intraoperative hemorrhage. The histopathological diagnosis was immature teratoma. Postoperatively, the infant was in critical condition due to severe postoperative complications, and when he was transferred to the authors' institution 43 days after birth, his respiratory condition was still unstable because of lower cranial nerve palsy. Chemotherapy with carboplatin and etoposide resulted in moderate shrinkage of the tumor. Further chemotherapy led to improvement in the patient's general condition and weight gain, which allowed for a second attempt at resection. During this second surgery, which was performed when the child was 8 months of age, after 8 courses of chemotherapy, the tumor was completely resected with little bleeding. Histological findings from the second operation were consistent with mature teratoma.
This case indicates that upfront chemotherapy may be effective for the initial management of such cases. Although the objective response to the treatment was modest, chemotherapy reduced the hemorrhagic nature of the tumor, facilitated improvement of the patient's general condition, and allowed for successful resection.