Irradiation-Induced Secondary Tumors following Pediatric Central Nervous System Tumors: Experiences of a Single Institute in Taiwan (1975-2013)

Chu Yi Lee, Yi Wei Chen, Yi Yen Lee, Feng Chi Chang, Hsin Hung Chen, Shih Chieh Lin, Donald Ming Tak Ho, Ming Chao Huang, Sang Hue Yen, Tai Tong Wong, Muh Lii Liang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: Complications can occur following a prolonged latency period after radiation therapy for cancer, and this is a growing concern because secondary tumors are potentially fatal. Few studies have examined secondary tumors in patients who received radiation therapy as children. Methods and Materials: This retrospective study examined 1697 pediatric patients with central nervous system tumors who received treatment at Taipei Veterans General Hospital from January 1, 1975, to December 31, 2013. Secondary tumors developed in 27 of 681 patients who received cranial irradiation. Overall survival was estimated using the Kaplan-Meier method, and the significance of differences was determined by the log-rank test. Results: The overall cumulative incidence of secondary tumors at 25 years was 3.96%, and there were similar numbers of male patients (n = 16) and female patients (n = 11). The mean age at diagnosis was 8.8 years (range, 3-16.5 years), the median dose of cranial irradiation was 52.5 Gy (mean, 53.4 Gy), the mean latency period was 14.6 years (range, 2-33 years), and the mean age at diagnosis of a secondary tumor was 23.1 years. The secondary tumors were mainly meningiomas (n = 13), sarcomas (n = 7), and high-grade gliomas (n = 6), and the mean latency periods were 19.66, 8.00, and 10.83 years, respectively. The overall survival rate from these secondary tumors was significantly different (P < .05). Age at irradiation of <7 years and craniospinal irradiation significantly increased the risk of a secondary tumor (P < .05). Secondary tumors developed in 11 of 128 patients (8.6%) with primary medulloblastomas, which was higher than the overall cumulative incidence. Conclusions: Clinicians should consider the increased risk of secondary tumors in long-term cancer survivors who received craniospinal irradiation as children. Using a selective dose de-escalation strategy or deferring radiation therapy for young patients at highest risk of secondary cancers should be studied.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1243-1252
Number of pages10
JournalInternational Journal of Radiation Oncology Biology Physics
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Aug 1 2018

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiation
  • Oncology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Cancer Research


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