PURPOSE The optimal treatment strategy for pediatric atypical teratoid rhabdoid tumor (ATRT) is inconclusive. This study evaluated the prognostic value of early radiotherapy (RT) and high-dose chemotherapy with autologous stem cell rescue (HDC/ASCR) in pediatric ATRT. METHODS This pooled analysis included ATRT patients treated at our institution and from other studies who were identified by a search of the PubMed
electronic database. The effect of patient demographics and treatment profiles on progression-free survival (PFS) and overall survival (OS) were analyzed using Cox regression. RESULTS Overall, 34 patients from our institution and 436 patients from 35 published studies were included. In multivariable analysis, patients with gross total resection (GTR), early RT (time to RT interval < 2 months), and HDC/ASCR had both better PFS [hazard ratio (HR) 0.46, p[Formula: see text] 0.001; HR 0.64, p = 0.011; and HR 0.51, p = 0.005, respectively] and OS (HR 0.55, p = 0.002; HR 0.48, p = 0.004; and HR 0.42, p < 0.001, respectively). For patients aged < 3 years, both RT and HDC/ASCR were significant favorable factors for PFS (HR 0.32 and 0.46, respectively) and OS (HR 0.40 and 0.36, respectively), while early RT was not prognostic. For patients aged ≥ 3 years, early RT was significantly associated with better PFS (HR 0.51) and HDC/ASCR did not affect PFS, and neither was related to OS. CONCLUSION Both early RT initiation and HDC/ASCR were important components in the treatment of pediatric ATRT. However, the optimal treatment strategies might differ by age.