Edoardo Agosti, Marco Zeppieri, Sara Antonietti, Amedeo Piazza, Tamara Ius, Marco Maria Fontanella, Alessandro Fiorindi, Pier Paolo Panciani

Advancing Craniopharyngioma Management: A Systematic Review of Current Targeted Therapies and Future Perspectives

  • Inorganic Chemistry
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Spectroscopy
  • Molecular Biology
  • General Medicine
  • Catalysis

Craniopharyngiomas present unique challenges in surgical management due to their proximity to critical neurovascular structures. This systematic review investigates genetic and immunological markers as potential targets for therapy in craniopharyngiomas, assessing their involvement in tumorigenesis, and their influence on prognosis and treatment strategies. The systematic review adhered to PRISMA guidelines, with a thorough literature search conducted on PubMed, Ovid MED-LINE, and Ovid EMBASE. Employing MeSH terms and Boolean operators, the search focused on craniopharyngiomas, targeted or molecular therapy, and clinical outcomes or adverse events. Inclusion criteria encompassed English language studies, clinical trials (randomized or non-randomized), and investigations into adamantinomatous or papillary craniopharyngiomas. Targeted therapies, either standalone or combined with chemotherapy and/or radiotherapy, were examined if they included clinical outcomes or adverse event analysis. Primary outcomes assessed disease response through follow-up MRI scans, categorizing responses as follows: complete response (CR), near-complete response (NCR), partial response, and stable or progressive disease based on lesion regression percentages. Secondary outcomes included treatment type and duration, as well as adverse events. A total of 891 papers were initially identified, of which 26 studies spanning from 2000 to 2023 were finally included in the review. Two tables highlighted adamantinomatous and papillary craniopharyngiomas, encompassing 7 and 19 studies, respectively. For adamantinomatous craniopharyngiomas, Interferon-2α was the predominant targeted therapy (29%), whereas dabrafenib took precedence (70%) for papillary craniopharyngiomas. Treatment durations varied, ranging from 1.7 to 28 months. Positive responses, including CR or NCR, were observed in both types of craniopharyngiomas (29% CR for adamantinomatous; 32% CR for papillary). Adverse events, such as constitutional symptoms and skin changes, were reported, emphasizing the need for vigilant monitoring and personalized management to enhance treatment tolerability. Overall, the data highlighted a diverse landscape of targeted therapies with encouraging responses and manageable adverse events, underscoring the importance of ongoing research and individualized patient care in the exploration of treatment options for craniopharyngiomas. In the realm of targeted therapies for craniopharyngiomas, tocilizumab and dabrafenib emerged as prominent choices for adamantinomatous and papillary cases, respectively. While adverse events were common, their manageable nature underscored the importance of vigilant monitoring and personalized management. Acknowledging limitations, future research should prioritize larger, well-designed clinical trials and standardized treatment protocols to enhance our understanding of the impact of targeted therapies on craniopharyngioma patients.

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