Update: Medulloblastoma epidemiology

Medulloblastoma epidemiology

In children medulloblastoma comprise 15-20 % of intracranial tumor1).

30-55 % of posterior fossa tumors.

Medulloblastoma is the most common malignant pediatric intracranial tumor 2).

Medulloblastomas comprise < 1 % of adult brain neoplasms. Peak incidence during 1st. decade. Median age at diagnosis 5-7 years (75 % are diagnosed by age 15). Male:female ratio is 2:1. Familial cancer syndromes that include medulloblastoma: Gorlin syndromeTurcot syndrome.

Population-based data examining recent epidemiological trends in medulloblastoma, are limited. Therefore, Khanna et al. sought to examine recent population-level trends in medulloblastoma incidence and survival. Central Brain Tumor Registry of the United States (CBTRUS) data were analyzed from 2001 to 2013. Age-adjusted incidence rates (IR) and annual percent changes (APCs) with 95% confidence intervals (CI) were calculated by age, sex, and race. Relative survival rates were calculated by age, sex, and race using Surveillance, Epidemiology and End-Results (SEER) registries; subsets of CBTRUS data. Kaplan-Meier and Cox proportional hazards models were used to examine survival differences. Medulloblastoma incidence remained relatively stable from 2001 to 2013, with minor fluctuations from 2001 to 2009 (APC = 2.2, 95% CI 0.8, 3.5) and 2009-2013 (APC = -4.1, 95% CI -7.5, -0.6). Incidence was highest in patients aged 1-4 years at diagnosis, but patients aged 10-14 years showed increased incidence from 2000 to 2013 (APC = 3.2, 95% CI 0.6, 5.8). Males displayed higher IR relative to females (males: 0.16 vs. females: 0.12), except in patients <1 year-old. Compared to Whites, Blacks displayed a non-significant increase in incidence (APC = 1.7, 95% CI -0.4, 4.0) and in mortality risk (hazard ratio for survival = 0.74; p = 0.09). The current study reports no overall change in medulloblastoma incidence from 2001 to 2013. Male and female patients <1 year-old had equal medulloblastoma incidence rates and poor 5-year relative survival compared to other ages. Non-significant trends in the data suggest disparities in medulloblastoma incidence and survival by race. Thus, analysis of tumor-specific trends by demographic variables can uncover clinically informative trends in cancer burden 3).

A report aims to provide accurate nationwide epidemiologic data on primary brain and central nervous system (CNS) tumors in the Republic of Korea. Dho et al. updated the data by analyzing primary brain and CNS tumors diagnosed in 2013 using the data from the national cancer incidence database.

Data on primary brain and CNS tumors diagnosed in 2013 were collected from the Korean Central Cancer Registry. Crude and age-standardized rates were calculated in terms of gender, age, and histological type.

A total of 11,827 patients were diagnosed with primary brain and CNS tumors in 2013. Brain and CNS tumors occurred in females more often than in males (female:male, 1.70:1). The most common tumor was meningioma (37.3%). Pituitary tumors (18.0%), gliomas (12.7%), and nerve sheath tumors (12.3%) followed in incidence. Glioblastomas accounted for 41.8% of all gliomas. In children (<19 years), sellar region tumors (pituitary and craniopharyngioma), embryonal/primitive/medulloblastoma, and germ cell tumors were the most common tumors 4).


Laurent JP, Cheek WR. Brain tumours in children. J Pediatr Neurosci. 1985;1:15–32

Allen JC. Childhood brain tumors: current status of clinical trials in newly diagnosed and recurrent disease. Pediatr Clin North Am. 1985 Jun;32(3):633-51. Review. PubMed PMID: 3889800.

Khanna V, Achey RL, Ostrom QT, Block-Beach H, Kruchko C, Barnholtz-Sloan JS, de Blank PM. Incidence and survival trends for medulloblastomas in the United States from 2001 to 2013. J Neurooncol. 2017 Dec;135(3):433-441. doi: 10.1007/s11060-017-2594-6. Epub 2017 Aug 21. PubMed PMID: 28828582.

Dho YS, Jung KW, Ha J, Seo Y, Park CK, Won YJ, Yoo H. An Updated Nationwide Epidemiology of Primary Brain Tumors in Republic of Korea, 2013. Brain Tumor Res Treat. 2017 Apr;5(1):16-23. doi: 10.14791/btrt.2017.5.1.16. Epub 2017 Apr 30. PubMed PMID: 28516074; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC5433946.

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