Management of Atypical Teratoid/Rhabdoid Tumors in the Pediatric Population: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis

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World Neurosurgery


Background: Atypical teratoid/rhabdoid tumors are rare and aggressive tumors that mainly affect children treatment, the overall survival rate for pediatric atypical teratoid/rhabdoid tumors remains poor. Due to their rarity, little is known regarding prognostic factors, and there is no official standard of treatment. Methods: A comprehensive database search was conducted following Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) guidelines. Search terms included “atypical teratoid rhabdoid tumor” and “atypical (teratoid OR rhabdoid) tumor.” Variables of interest included, but were not limited to, age, sex, tumor location, treatment modality, extent of resection, and overall survival. Results: The study included 294 articles and 936 patients. The median age of patients was 22 months. There was a significant difference in survival among patients receiving surgery compared with patients receiving nonoperative treatment (50.3 months vs. 28 months; P < 0.005). Extent of resection did not significantly improve survival (P = 0.832 for gross total resection, P = 0.650 for partial resection). Combination therapy with surgical resection, radiotherapy, and chemotherapy demonstrated the largest median overall survival (54.9 months) and significantly improved survival on multivariate analysis (hazard ratio, 0.48; 95% confidence interval, 0.23–0.97; P = 0.042). Conclusions: The results of this study indicate that while surgery is a crucial treatment modality for pediatric atypical teratoid/rhabdoid tumors, the effect of extent of resection is unclear. Multimodal therapy including surgery, radiotherapy, and chemotherapy is effective in improving overall survival. Future studies should focus on using larger datasets to efficiently account for confounding factors and biases.

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