Publication Date



Neuro-Oncology Advances



Primary spinal high-grade gliomas (S-HGG) are rare aggressive tumors; radiation therapy (RT) often plays a dominant role in management. We conducted a single-institution retrospective review to study the clinicopathological features and management of S-HGGs.


Patients with biopsy-proven S-HGG who received RT from 2001 to 2020 were analyzed for patient, tumor, and treatment characteristics. Kaplan–Meier estimates were used for survival analyses.


Twenty-nine patients were identified with a median age of 25.9 years (range 1–74 y). Four patients had GTR while 25 underwent subtotal resection or biopsy. All patients were IDH wildtype and MGMT-promoter unmethylated, where available. H3K27M mutation was present in 5 out of 10 patients tested, while one patient harbored p53 mutation. Median RT dose was 50.4 Gy (range 39.6–54 Gy) and 65% received concurrent chemotherapy, most commonly temozolomide. Twenty-three (79%) of patients had documented recurrence. Overall, 16 patients relapsed locally, 10 relapsed in the brain and 8 developed leptomeningeal disease; only 8 had isolated local relapse. Median OS from diagnosis was 21.3 months and median PFS was 9.7 months. On univariate analysis, age, gender, GTR, grade, RT modality, RT dose and concurrent chemotherapy did not predict for survival. Patients with H3K27M mutation had a poorer PFS compared to those without mutation (10.1 m vs 45.1 m) but the difference did not reach statistical significance (P = .26).


The prognosis of patients with spinal HGGs remains poor with two-thirds of the patients developing distant recurrence despite chemoradiation. Survival outcomes were similar in patients ≤ 29 years compared to adults > 29 years. A better understanding of the molecular drivers of spinal HGGs is needed to develop more effective treatment options.


high-grade glioma, proton therapy, radiation, spinal glioma



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