AANS Neurosurgeon | Volume 26, Number 1, 2017

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Predicting Seizure Incidence and Frequency in Survivors of Pediatric Brain Tumors

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Many children who are long-term survivors of brain cancer suffer from seizure activity for years, since it often begins before diagnosis and can continue far into treatment. Although clinicians expect to see seizures in pediatric patients who have primary brain tumors, a study recently conducted by researchers from the Dana-Farber/Boston Children’s Cancer and Blood Disorders Center sought to evaluate and describe the incidence and risk factors for seizures among children who have been treated for brain tumors and who went on to become long-term survivors. They also wanted to identify factors that could predict negative seizure outcomes. The retrospective, longitudinal study took place over a period of 12 months and the investigators evaluated all children who presented for follow-up to the Pediatric Brain Tumor Program Outcomes Program at Dana-Farber. During the study, 71 patients had seizures at any point from before their diagnosis to years after therapy had been completed. Although most of the seizure activity took place prior to or at the time of diagnosis (10% of entire cohort, 42% of patients with seizures), there were 12 patients whose seizure activity began during treatment, and 16 patients whose seizures actually occurred more than two years after the treatment period was over. Researchers were able to determine some predicting factors for whether a child would have seizure activity and found they were most commonly associated with low-grade glioma, oligodendroglioma, ganglioglioma, pleomorphic xanthoastrocytoma, and dysembryoplastic neuroepithelial tumor (DNET). To read more about this study, click here.

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