Long-term follow-up after high-activity 125I brachytherapy for pediatric brain tumors
A retrospective review including long-term follow-up (4.6-12.0 years) was performed of all 28 pediatric patients who underwent high-activity 125I brachytherapy at the University of California, San Francisco, for primary or recurrent brain tumors from 1980 until 1991. There were 4 glioblastomas, 11 high-grade nonglioblastoma multiforme (NGM) malignant gliomas, 10 contrast-enhancing low-grade NGM, 2 choroid plexus carcinomas, and 1 rhabdomyosarcoma. The 13 survivors included 7 of 8 patients with primary high-grade NGM, 2 of 3 patients with primary low-grade NGM, and 3 of 7 patients with recurrent low-grade NGM. Necrosis (with or without tumor) was identified in 17 of 22 reoperated patients. The mean Karnofsky performance status was 88 +/- 9 at the time of brachytherapy, 87 +/- 7 at 3 years, and 87 +/- 9 in 11 patients alive at 6-12 years. Brachytherapy is a useful modality for treating selected pediatric brain tumors, and although focal necrosis is a common sequela, it does not tend to have a major impact on the Karnofsky performance status, if the implant site is amenable to reoperation.