The aim in this study was to determine the outcomes of boost stereotactic radiosurgery, specifically Gamma Knife surgery (GKS), for recurrent primitive neuroectodermal tumors (PNETs) in children in whom initial multimodality management had failed.
The authors performed a retrospective analysis of 7 patients who underwent a total of 15 GKS procedures for locally recurrent or metastatic PNETs. Nine procedures were directed at the primary site, whereas 6 were directed at distant brain sites. All patients received multimodality therapy, including resection, fractionated radiotherapy, and chemotherapy. The mean interval from diagnosis to first stereotactic radiosurgery was 25.8 months (range 11–35 months). The mean tumor volume was 3.9 cm3 (range 1.1–13.1 cm3), and an average marginal dose of 14.5 Gy (range 9–20 Gy) was administered.
Following salvage GKS, 2 patients had early disease progression (median survival of 5 months after GKS). Five patients had late disease progression (complete response in 3, partial response in 1, and stable disease in 1) and a median survival of 30 months after GKS. Four of the 5 patients who had late progression underwent repeat GKS for marginal recurrence. No adverse radiation effects were observed in these 7 patients.
The GKS modality was a well-tolerated and useful boost strategy in pediatric patients with PNET and a poor prognosis in whom initial multimodality management had failed. However, local or distant disease progression or diffuse leptomeningeal spread ultimately proved fatal to these patients.