Surveillance imaging and early surgical intervention for improved CNS tumor outcomes in children with Li-Fraumeni syndrome: Children's National Hospital experience and literature review

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date



Journal of neurosurgery. Pediatrics




Li-Fraumeni syndrome; brain tumor; oncology; screening


OBJECTIVE: Li-Fraumeni syndrome (LFS) is a cancer predisposition syndrome caused by germline mutations in the TP53 gene. CNS tumors are the fourth most common tumor type in LFS, and recent screening guidelines demonstrate that early tumor detection is associated with improved long-term survival. However, there is a paucity of data regarding surgical intervention when lesions are identified in asymptomatic patients on surveillance imaging. The authors investigated this through their cohort and literature review. METHODS: The cohort consisted of children seen in the Pediatric Cancer Genetics Program at Children's National Hospital between August 2012 and August 2021. The authors also include a PubMed (MEDLINE) literature search of articles from 2006 to 2021 related to surveillance and CNS tumors in patients with LFS. Studies in which CNS tumors were not identified or detailed patient information was not provided were excluded. Patients from the selected articles and the authors' cohort were added for further analysis. RESULTS: Between August 2012 and August 2021, 10 children with LFS and CNS tumors were assessed at Children's National Hospital: 4 who were known carriers of the TP53 mutation had CNS lesions found on surveillance imaging, whereas 6 presented with symptomatic CNS lesions and were either known or subsequently found to have germline TP53 mutations. The literature search identified 148 articles, 7 of which were included in this review. Patients from the literature and the present cohort were added for a total of 56 CNS lesions. A majority of the low-grade CNS lesions (22/24, 92%) were found on surveillance protocols in asymptomatic patients, whereas the majority of the high-grade lesions (22/26, 85%) presented in symptomatic patients who were not undergoing routine surveillance or as the initial diagnosis of LFS. The authors noted a significant survival advantage in pediatric patients with low-grade lesions, with an overall survival of 100% at 30 months. Minor limitations of the study include patient sample size and limitations in the patient cohort due to this being a retrospective rather than a prospective study. CONCLUSIONS: Data presented in this study support surveillance protocols in LFS and demonstrate the importance of dedicated CNS imaging and early surgical intervention when lesions are identified. Systematic review registration no.: CRD42022372610 (