Emotional and behavioral functioning after conformal radiation therapy for pediatric ependymoma

Victoria W. Willard, Heather M. Conklin, Frederick Boop, Shengjie Wu, Thomas E. Merchant

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

19 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Purpose The standard of care for pediatric patients with ependymoma involves postoperative radiation therapy. Prior research suggests that conformal radiation therapy (CRT) is associated with relative sparing of cognitive and academic functioning, but little is known about the effect of CRT on emotional and behavioral functioning. Methods and Materials A total of 113 patients with pediatric ependymoma underwent CRT using photons as part of their enrollment on an institutional trial. Patients completed annual evaluations of neurocognitive functioning during the first 5 years after CRT. Emotional and behavioral functioning was assessed via the Child Behavior Checklist. Results Before CRT, emotional and behavioral functioning were commensurate with those of the normative population and within normal limits. After 5 years, means remained within normal limits but were significantly below the normative mean. Linear mixed models revealed a significant increase in attention problems over time. These problems were associated with age at diagnosis/CRT, tumor location, and extent of resection. A higher-than-expected incidence of school problems was present at all assessment points after baseline. Conclusions The use of photon CRT for ependymoma is associated with relatively stable emotional and behavioral functioning during the first 5 years after treatment. The exception is an increase in attention problems. Results suggest that intervening earlier in the survivorship period - during the first year posttreatment - may be beneficial.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)814-821
Number of pages8
JournalInternational Journal of Radiation Oncology Biology Physics
Volume88
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 15 2014

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Ependymoma
radiation therapy
Radiotherapy
Pediatrics
Photons
Child Behavior
photons
Standard of Care
Checklist
Linear Models
tumors
Survival Rate
incidence
evaluation
Incidence

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Oncology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Radiation
  • Cancer Research

Cite this

Emotional and behavioral functioning after conformal radiation therapy for pediatric ependymoma. / Willard, Victoria W.; Conklin, Heather M.; Boop, Frederick; Wu, Shengjie; Merchant, Thomas E.

In: International Journal of Radiation Oncology Biology Physics, Vol. 88, No. 4, 15.03.2014, p. 814-821.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Willard, Victoria W. ; Conklin, Heather M. ; Boop, Frederick ; Wu, Shengjie ; Merchant, Thomas E. / Emotional and behavioral functioning after conformal radiation therapy for pediatric ependymoma. In: International Journal of Radiation Oncology Biology Physics. 2014 ; Vol. 88, No. 4. pp. 814-821.
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