Extracranial metastases of medulloblastoma in adults: literature review.


A consecutive series of 30 cases of extracranial medulloblastoma metastases in adults is analysed. The majority of the patients were males with a 3:1 male/female ratio. Bone was the most frequent site of metastases in adults (77%) and children (78%), followed by lymph nodes (33%) in both children and adults. Lung metastases were more common in adults (17%), but liver metastases occurred more frequently in children (15%). Possible routes of spread and development of metastases are discussed, with special emphasis on the role of shunts in tumour seeding. Distant extracranial metastatic spread of medulloblastoma occurs at the rate of 7.1%. Mean interval between operation of the primary tumour and the discovery of metastases was shorter in children (20 months) than in adults (36 months). Survival after the discovery of metastases was also shorter in children (5 months) than in adults (9.5 months). Shunts were associated with an earlier appearance of metastases and with a poorer prognosis. A detailed review of the literature of 119 cases of medulloblastoma with extracranial metastases is provided.

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