Clinical characteristics and prognostic factors of adult patients with pilocytic astrocytoma

Maximilian J Mair, Adelheid Wöhrer, Julia Furtner, Anika Simonovska, Barbara Kiesel, Stefan Oberndorfer, Karl Ungersböck, Christine Marosi, Felix Sahm, Johannes A Hainfellner, Karl Rössler, Matthias Preusser, Georg Widhalm, Anna S Berghoff

Research output: Journal article (peer-reviewed)Journal article

26 Citations (Scopus)


INTRODUCTION: Pilocytic astrocytoma (PA) is the most common primary brain neoplasm in children and treated in curative intent with gross total resection (GTR). However, PA is rare in adults, resulting in limited knowledge on the natural clinical course. This study aimed to describe the clinical course and identify prognostic factors of adult patients with PA.

METHODS: 46 patients ≥ 18 years at diagnosis of PA and neurosurgical resection or biopsy between 2000 and 2018 were identified from the Neuro-Biobank of the Medical University of Vienna. In two cases with differing histopathological diagnosis at recurrence, DNA methylation analysis was performed using Illumina Infinium HumanMethylation850 BeadChip (850 k) arrays and the Molecular Neuropathology classifier. Clinico-pathological features were correlated with patient outcomes.

RESULTS: Median age at diagnosis was 32.5 years (range: 19-75) and median Ki67 proliferation index was 2.8% (0.5-13.4%). Tumor location significantly correlated with resectability (p < 0.001). Tumor progression or recurrence was observed in 9/46 (19.6%) patients after a median follow up time of 53.0 months (range 0.5-300). 5-year overall and progression-free survival rates were 85.3% and 70.0%, respectively. 2/9 (22.2%) patients presented with histological changes in the recurrent tumor specimen. In detail, methylation classification redefined the histological diagnosis to anaplastic astrocytoma with piloid features and glioma in one patient, each. Age > 40 and higher body mass index (BMI) were associated with impaired progression-free and overall survival (p < 0.05).

CONCLUSIONS: Tumor recurrence or progression in adult PA patients was higher than the one reported in pediatric patients. Higher age and BMI were associated with impaired prognosis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)187-198
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Neuro-Oncology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 01 May 2020


  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Astrocytoma/diagnosis
  • Brain Neoplasms/diagnosis
  • Disease Progression
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Kaplan-Meier Estimate
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prognosis
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Young Adult
  • Primary CNS tumor
  • Pilocytic astrocytoma
  • Low-grade glioma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology (clinical)
  • Neurology
  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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