Prognosis and survival for brain and spinal cord tumours
If you have a brain or spinal cord tumour, you may have questions about your prognosis. A prognosis is the doctor’s best estimate of how cancer will affect someone and how it will respond to treatment. Prognosis and survival depend on many factors. Only a doctor familiar with your medical history, the type, grade and characteristics of your cancer, the treatments chosen and the response to treatment can put all of this information together with survival statistics to arrive at a prognosis.
A prognostic factor is an aspect of the cancer or a characteristic of the person that the doctor will consider when making a prognosis. A predictive factor influences how a cancer will respond to a certain treatment. Prognostic and predictive factors are often discussed together. They both play a part in deciding on a treatment plan and a prognosis.
The following are prognostic and predictive factors for brain and spinal cord tumours.
Tumour grade @(Model.HeadingTag)>
Low-grade tumours have a better prognosis than high-grade tumours.
Tumour type @(Model.HeadingTag)>
The type of brain or spinal cord tumour is an important prognostic factor. Some types of tumours have a better prognosis than others.
In general, people younger than 55 have a better prognosis.
Location and size of the tumour @(Model.HeadingTag)>
The location and size of the tumour are important prognostic factors because they determine whether the tumour can be completely removed with surgery. Tumours that are small and easily accessible have a better prognosis.
Surgical removal @(Model.HeadingTag)>
Tumours that can be completely removed with surgery usually have a better prognosis.
Tumour spread @(Model.HeadingTag)>
If a tumour spreads to other areas of the central nervous system (CNS) or beyond the CNS, the prognosis is less favourable.
Performance status and neurological function @(Model.HeadingTag)>
People with a high
Chromosomal abnormalities @(Model.HeadingTag)>
Oligodendrogliomas have a chromosome abnormality where the “p” arm of chromosome 1 and the “q” arm of chromosome 19 have been deleted. These tumours are more responsive to chemotherapy and have a better prognosis than tumours that do not have this chromosome abnormality.
Expert review and references
American Cancer Society. Brain and Spinal Cord Tumors in Adults. 2014: http://www.cancer.org/acs/groups/cid/documents/webcontent/003088-pdf.pdf.
American Joint Committee on Cancer. AJCC Cancer Staging Handbook. 7th ed. Chicago: Springer; 2010.
American Society of Clinical Oncology. Brain Tumor. 2015: http://www.cancer.net/cancer-types/brain-tumor/view-all.
Everson RG, Liau LM . Malignant gliomas. Bernstein M and Berger MS (eds.). Neuro-oncology: The Essentials. 3rd ed. New York: Thieme; 2015: 25: 289-301.