Skip to main content
Open Access Publications from the University of California


UC San Francisco Previously Published Works bannerUCSF

A systematic review of the results of surgery and radiotherapy on tumor control for pediatric craniopharyngioma



Craniopharyngiomas are rare tumors with bimodal incidence in the pediatric and adult age groups. Treatment strategies range from aggressive resection to planned limited resection combined with adjuvant therapies. Currently there is no consensus for standard of care for pediatric craniopharyngioma.

Materials and methods

We performed a systematic review of the published literature on pediatric craniopharyngioma. Patients were grouped based on extent of resection into gross total resection (GTR), subtotal resection (STR), and biopsy procedures. These groups were compared with respect to tumor control. Chi square was used to compare rates of recurrence. Kaplan-Meier was used to generate progression-free survival (PFS) estimates. Cox proportional hazard modeling was used to evaluate risk of progression. Each extent of resection group was also subdivided based on adjuvant therapy and compared.


A total of 109 studies described extent of resection resulting in a cohort of 531 patients. Recurrence data were available for 377 patients. There was no difference in 1- or 5-year PFS between the groups who underwent GTR and STR combined with radiation (XRT; log-rank; p = 0.76; 1-year PFS 89 vs 84%; 5-year PFS 77 vs 73%, respectively). One-year PFS was 84% for STR+XRT compared to 76% for STR alone while 5-year PFS was 73% for STR+XRT compared to 43% for STR alone (log-rank; p = 0.003).


Although there are limitations of a systematic review of retrospective data, our results suggest that STR+XRT of pediatric craniopharyngioma is associated with similar rates of tumor control as GTR.

Many UC-authored scholarly publications are freely available on this site because of the UC's open access policies. Let us know how this access is important for you.

Main Content
For improved accessibility of PDF content, download the file to your device.
Current View