Clinical presentation of young people (10–24 years old) with brain tumors: results from the international MOBI-Kids study

Angela Zumel-Marne, Michael Kundi, Gemma Castaño-Vinyals, Juan Alguacil*, Eleni Th Petridou, Marios K. Georgakis, Maria Morales-Suárez-Varela, Siegal Sadetzki, Sara Piro, Rajini Nagrani, Graziella Filippini, Hans Peter Hutter, Rajesh Dikshit, Adelheid Woehrer, Milena Maule, Tobias Weinmann, Daniel Krewski, Andrea ′t Mannetje, Franco Momoli, Brigitte LacourStefano Mattioli, John J. Spinelli, Paul Ritvo, Thomas Remen, Noriko Kojimahara, Amanda Eng, Angela Thurston, Hyungryul Lim, Mina Ha, Naohito Yamaguchi, Charmaine Mohipp, Evdoxia Bouka, Chelsea Eastman, Roel Vermeulen, Hans Kromhout, Elisabeth Cardis

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Introduction: We used data from MOBI-Kids, a 14-country international collaborative case–control study of brain tumors (BTs), to study clinical characteristics of the tumors in older children (10 years or older), adolescents and young adults (up to the age of 24). Methods: Information from clinical records was obtained for 899 BT cases, including signs and symptoms, symptom onset, diagnosis date, tumor type and location. Results: Overall, 64% of all tumors were low-grade, 76% were neuroepithelial tumors and 62% gliomas. There were more males than females among neuroepithelial and embryonal tumor cases, but more females with meningeal tumors. The most frequent locations were cerebellum (22%) and frontal (16%) lobe. The most frequent symptom was headaches (60%), overall, as well as for gliomas, embryonal and ‘non-neuroepithelial’ tumors; it was convulsions/seizures for neuroepithelial tumors other than glioma, and visual signs and symptoms for meningiomas. A cluster analysis showed that headaches and nausea/vomiting was the only combination of symptoms that exceeded a cutoff of 50%, with a joint occurrence of 67%. Overall, the median time from first symptom to diagnosis was 1.42 months (IQR 0.53–4.80); it exceeded 1 year in 12% of cases, though no particular symptom was associated with exceptionally long or short delays. Conclusions: This is the largest clinical epidemiology study of BT in young people conducted so far. Many signs and symptoms were identified, dominated by headaches and nausea/vomiting. Diagnosis was generally rapid but in 12% diagnostic delay exceeded 1 year with none of the symptoms been associated with a distinctly long time until diagnosis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)427-440
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Neuro-Oncology
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1 Apr 2020


  • Brain tumor
  • Central nervous system tumor
  • Clinical characteristic
  • Diagnosis
  • Symptom


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