Long-term psychiatric outcomes in pediatric brain tumor survivors

Sumedh Subodh Shah, Anna Dellarole, Eric Peterson, Amade Bregy, Ricardo J Komotar, Philip D Harvey, Mohamed Elhammady

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

34 Scopus citations


Conclusion: Physicians treating pediatric brain tumor patients should be aware of the possible consequences associated with treatment. Psychiatric monitoring is warranted in survivors of pediatric brain tumors, but further investigation is needed to elucidate late outcomes regarding tumor type and location.

Purpose: The increased efficacy of cancer treatments has led to a greater survival rate of patients with pediatric brain cancers. Therefore, it is imperative to explore the long-term consequences of therapies employed to treat pediatric brain tumors. The goal of this study was to provide a review of literature regarding the downstream psychological and psychiatric consequences experienced by adult survivors of pediatric brain cancer as a result of treatment, tumor type, or tumor location.

Methods: A PubMed MeSH search and additional online database searches were conducted to include pertinent studies that discussed psychological deficits in childhood brain cancer survivors. The studies included were subjected to data extraction to quantify relevant information for further analysis.

Results: A total of 17 papers with 5320 pediatric brain tumor patients were incorporated in our review. Mean age at diagnosis (8.13 ± 0.77 years), mean follow-up time (9.98 ± 3.05 years), and male-to-female ratios (1.08:1) were compiled from studies reporting this information. Incidences of depression (19 %), anxiety (20 %), suicidal ideation (10.9 %), schizophrenia and its related psychoses (9.8 %), and behavioral problem (28.7 %) were higher among pediatric brain cancer survivors than in the normal population. Craniospinal radiotherapy and/or surgery corresponded to an increased likelihood of developing adverse deficits. Astrocytomas or other glial tumors were linked to poorer outcomes.

Original languageEnglish
JournalChild's Nervous System
StateAccepted/In press - Mar 1 2015


  • Adult survivors
  • CNS tumors
  • Long-term consequences
  • Pediatric tumors
  • Psychiatric disorders

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Clinical Neurology


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