Holocord low grade astrocytoma - Role of radical irradiation and chemotherapy

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Spinal intradural tumors, especially those extending along the entire length of the spinal cord, termed as 'holocord' tumors are uncommon. Most of these are gliomas, with astrocytomas (low grade) predominating in children and ependymomas in adults. Other histologies, though reported, are even rarer. Management is debatable, with both surgery and radiotherapy of such extensive tumors posing challenges. We describe a case of a 14-year-old girl with holocord astrocytoma extending from cervicomedullary junction till lumbar spine, who recovered full neurological function following radical irradiation of entire spine followed by temozolomide-based chemotherapy. No grade 3/4 bone marrow morbidity was seen. Five years following treatment, she maintained normal neurological function and apparently normal pubertal and skeletal growth despite residual disease visible on imaging. Literature review of existing reports of holocord astrocytomas highlighting management and outcome is presented.




Goyal, S., Puri, T., & Julka, P. K. (2015). Holocord low grade astrocytoma - Role of radical irradiation and chemotherapy. Journal of the Egyptian National Cancer Institute, 27(2), 105–108. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jnci.2015.01.001

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