Purpose: The pilocytic astrocytoma (PA) is the most common childhood brain tumor. This report examines the MIB-1 labeling index (LI) as a predictor of progression-free survival (PFS) among childhood PAs. Patients and Methods: Consecutive PAs were examined to determine whether the MIB-1 LI was associated with tumor progression. Other variables evaluated included tumor location, use of adjuvant therapy, extent of resection, and age at diagnosis. Results: One hundred forty-one children were identified (mean ± SD age, 7.6 ± 4.7 years; range, 0.43 to 18.56 years); 118 children had adequate tissue for MIB-1 immunohistochemistry. The 5-year PFS was 61.25%. By log-rank analysis, an MIB-1 LI of more than 2.0 was associated with shortened PFS (P = .035). Patients with PAs who underwent complete surgical resection, had tumors located in the cerebellum, and were treated with surgery only also had more prolonged PFS (P = .001 for all). Tumors in the optic pathways were associated with a shorter PFS (P = .001). Restricting the evaluation of MIB-1 LI to only incompletely resected tumors revealed an insignificant trend of MIB-1 LI of more than 2.0 having a shortened PFS. Multivariate analysis demonstrated completely resected tumors and tumors located in the cerebellum as less likely to progress (P = .001 and .019, respectively). Conclusion: Children with PAs with an MIB-1 LI of more than 2.0 have a shortened PFS. PAs that are completely resected and are located in the cerebellum have a prolonged PFS. This initial study suggests that the MIB-1 LI identifies a more aggressive subset of PAs. Further work should focus on elucidating features of pilocytic astocytomas that will identify prospectively children at risk for progression.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research