Cure of recurrent medulloblastoma: The contribution of surgical resection at relapse

Judith Balter-Seri, Celia Mor, Avinoam Shuper, Rina Zaizov, Ian J. Cohen*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


BACKGROUND. Recurrent medulloblastoma has long been considered universally fatal. In spite of attempts to improve its treatment, only rarely have long term survivors been documented in the world's medical literature. Although the treatment of primary medulloblastoma is well established and includes surgical excision, postsurgical irradiation, and, more recently, chemotherapy, there is no established treatment for its recurrence. Current guidelines dictate the experimental use of chemotherapy, and there have been some encouraging results; yet no increase in long term survival has been documented. METHODS. This article presents a case of cured recurrent medulloblastoma in which the only intervention at the time of recurrence was surgical excision. In addition, a review of the literature is presented, which evaluates chemotherapeutic trials involving cases of recurrent medulloblastoma. RESULTS. The authors were surprised to find that the longest survivors of multiple trials had undergone reoperation at the time of recurrence. The authors' case, as well as cases described in the literature, point to a valid treatment alternative largely ignored in the management of recurrent medulloblastoma. CONCLUSIONS. Reoperation of recurrent brain tumors has received surprisingly little attention in the medical literature. Yet, as this case and a review of the literature demonstrate, this is a useful intervention.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1241-1247
Number of pages7
Issue number6
StatePublished - 15 Mar 1997


  • neurosurgery
  • recurrent medulloblastoma
  • treatment


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