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Egypt J Neurosurg ; 37(1): 28, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2021358


Background: Cerebellopontine angle tumor (CPA) in pediatrics is rare as compared to adults. We describe a case of pediatric pilocytic astrocytoma presented as a right CPA mass with a concurrent clinical diagnosis of neurofibromatosis type 1 (NF1). Case presentation: A 14-year-old boy with a newly diagnosed hypertension presented with a short history of headache and blurring vision. Neurological examination revealed bilateral papilloedema, partial right third nerve palsy and mild sensorineuronal hearing deficits. Skin examination identified multiple café au lait spots with cutaneous neurofibromas. Preoperative neuroimaging suggested the diagnosis of an extraaxial CPA mass consistent with meningioma, with obstructive hydrocephalus. A left ventriculoperitoneal shunt was inserted and the child was subjected for a suboccipital retrosigmoid approach for tumor resection. The histopathological features, however, were typical for pilocytic astrocytoma. Conclusions: A careful evaluation of the clinical presentation and radiological images of CPA lesions is necessary prior to surgical embarkment. To the best of our knowledge, this case is the first report of pilocytic astrocytoma in the CPA in pediatric with NF1.

Journal of Clinical Oncology ; 40(16), 2022.
Article in English | EMBASE | ID: covidwho-2005695


Background: During the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic there was global disruption in the provision of healthcare, causing significant pressure on hospital resources. High-grade gliomas (HGG) are rapidly progressive tumors, so patients with delays in diagnosis or treatment due to COVID-19-related disruptions might have poor outcomes. Therefore, we retrospectively evaluated the impact of the COVID- 19 pandemic on treatment patterns and outcomes of patients with HGG in British Columbia (BC). Methods: A case cohort with a pathologic diagnosis of HGG (grade 4 astrocytoma and glioblastoma) treated at BC Cancer centers with radiotherapy between March 1, 2020 - March 1, 2021 (“COVID era”), and a control cohort treated between March 1, 2018 - March 1, 2019 (“pre-COVID era”) were identified. Patient demographics, tumor characteristics, treatment details, and dates of radiographic progression and death were included in the chart review. Analyses were performed with one-way ANOVA and Chi-squared tests for comparisons between eras. The Kaplan-Meier method was used to assess progression-free survival (PFS) and overall survival (OS) and differences in outcome between eras were investigated using the log-rank test. Results: 164 patients were identified: 85 in the pre-COVID era and 79 in the COVID era. There was no statistically significant baseline difference in age, sex, comorbidities, ECOG, tumor diameter, IDH mutation status, or MGMT methylation status between eras. There was also no statistically significant difference between time from symptom onset to first imaging, time from first imaging to surgery, time from surgery to oncologic consultation between eras, and time from surgery to radiotherapy. Significantly more patients were managed with biopsy relative to partial or gross total resection during the COVID era 22% (17/79) than the pre-COVID era 13% (11/85) (p = 0.04). However, radiation treatment (RT) did not differ between eras, with similar rates of conventionally fractionated RT in the pre-COVID era (87%, 74/85) and the COVID era (82%, 65/79) (p = 0.23). Use of concurrent and/or adjuvant temozolomide also was not significantly different between eras (p = 0.27 and p = 0.19, respectively). Median PFS was 7.0 months in both eras (CI95 = 5.5 - 8.5 months for pre-COVID era, CI95 = 5.8 - 8.2 months for COVID era, p = 0.3), and median OS was 13 months in the pre-COVID era (CI95 = 10.3 - 15.7 months) and 16 months in the COVID era (CI95 = 11.5 - 20.5 months), though this difference was not significant (p = 0.09). Conclusions: To our knowledge, this is the first study to assess outcomes of patients treated for HGG during the COVID-19 pandemic. We found that, despite less use of surgery in the COVID era, the outcomes of patients with HGG were not affected.

Neuro-Oncology ; 24:i166, 2022.
Article in English | EMBASE | ID: covidwho-1956581


INTRODUCTION: Unplanned reoperations and mortality within 30 days are important indicators when evaluating the quality of care provided by surgical systems. We reviewed these outcomes among children with primary central nervous system (CNS) tumors treated during the COVID- 19 pandemic. METHODS: This is a retrospective study of all pediatric patients who underwent neurosurgery for primary CNS tumors at the Philippine General Hospital, the national university hospital, from January 1, 2020 until December 31, 2021. Their clinical presentation, perioperative course, and outcomes were analyzed. During this time, our hospital concurrently served as a COVID-19 referral center, thus, the workforce was restructured, and resources were reallocated to care for COVID-19 patients. RESULTS: A total of 92 pediatric patients with CNS tumors underwent 140 neurosurgical operations during the study period. Two-thirds of the patients were males, and mean age was 9.3 ± 5.0 years (range: 3 months to 18 years). Average preoperative length of stay was 3.9 ± 2.6 days. Tumor resection was performed in 73 patients (79%). Most common histologic diagnoses were medulloblastoma (20%) and low-grade glioma including pilocytic astrocytoma (20%). Overall, the 30-day mortality and unplanned reoperation rates were 12% and 22%, respectively. Eight patients died from brain herniation and/or tumor progression. Reasons for unplanned reoperations were postoperative hydrocephalus (20%), infection (9%), hematoma (7%), and tumor residual (3%). DISCUSSION: Worldwide, the COVID-19 pandemic has altered hospital protocols and shifted resources considerably. The observed high rates of death and reoperation are likely due to delays in seeking care leading to worse neurologic status at presentation, delays in performing essential surgery within the hospital, and shortage of health workers providing specialist care. It is important to periodically assess perioperative outcomes to improve the quality of surgical care given to children with CNS tumors, who remain a vulnerable population during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Neuro-Oncology ; 24:i74-i75, 2022.
Article in English | EMBASE | ID: covidwho-1956572


INTRODUCTION: High-grade gliomas account for <5% of all pediatric brain tumors with a 20% 5-year overall survival even with maximal safe resection followed by concurrent radiotherapy and chemotherapy. Patients in low-and middle-income countries already face delays and barriers to the treatment they require. The current COVID pandemic has added unique challenges to the delivery of complex, multidisciplinary health services to these patients. METHODOLOGY AND RESULTS: We retrospectively reviewed the records of four patients, ages 2-18 years old, with histologically confirmed high-grade glioma managed in a tertiary government institution from 2020-2021. Three of the patients had a supratentorial tumor and one patient had multiple tumors located in both supra-and infratentorial compartments. Neurosurgical procedures performed were: gross total excision (1), subtotal excision (2), and biopsy (1). The tissue diagnoses obtained were glioblastoma (3) and high-grade astrocytoma (1). Two patients survived and are currently undergoing adjuvant radiotherapy and chemotherapy. The remaining two patients expired: one from hospital-acquired pneumonia and the other from COVID-19 infection. DISCUSSION: Decreased mobility due to lockdowns, the burden of requiring negative COVID-19 results before admission for surgery, reduced hospital capacity to comply with physical distancing measures, the postponement of elective surgery to minimize COVID-19 transmission, physician and nursing shortages due to infection or mandatory isolation of staff, cancellation of face-to-face outpatient clinics, and hesitation among patients and their families to go to the hospital for fear of exposure were found to be common causes of delays in treatment. Also, the redirection of health resources and other government and hospital policies to handle the COVID-19 pandemic resulted in an overall delay in the delivery of health services. In particular, the management of pediatric patients with cancers, especially high-grade gliomas, was significantly disrupted.