Changes to This Summary (01 / 30 / 2013)
The PDQ cancer information summaries are reviewed regularly and updated as new information becomes available. This section describes the latest changes made to this summary as of the date above.Treatment of Recurrent Childhood EpendymomaAdded Bouffet et al. as reference 8.This summary is written and maintained by the PDQ Pediatric Treatment Editorial Board, which is editorially independent of NCI. The summary reflects an independent review of the literature and does not represent a policy statement of NCI or NIH. More information about summary policies and the role of the PDQ Editorial Boards in maintaining the PDQ summaries can be found on the About This PDQ Summary and PDQ NCI's Comprehensive Cancer Database pages.
Stage Information for Pituitary Tumors
As with other tumors of the central nervous system (CNS), no tumor, nodes, metastases-based American Joint Committee on Cancer classification and staging system for pituitary tumors exists. Pituitary tumors are classified according to size and divided into microadenomas (i.e., the greatest diameter is <10 mm) and macroadenomas (i.e., the greatest diameter is ≥I0 mm). Most pituitary adenomas are microadenomas. The most widely used radioanatomical classification was based primarily on a neuroradiological examination including skull x-rays, pneumoencephalography, polytomography, and carotid angiography. Subsequently validated by the application of more accurate magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and computed tomography, this radioanatomical classification places adenomas into 1 of 4 grades (I–IV) and has been augmented by additional studies including immunohistochemistry and electron microscopy. Currently, MRI is considered the imaging modality of choice for the diagnosis
Cellular Classification of Neuroblastic Tumors
Neuroblastomas are classified as one of the small, round, blue cell tumors of childhood. They are a heterogenous group of tumors composed of cellular aggregates with different degrees of differentiation, from mature ganglioneuromas to less mature ganglioneuroblastomas to immature neuroblastomas, reflecting the varying malignant potential of these tumors.There are two cellular classification systems for neuroblastoma.International Neuroblastoma Pathology Classification (INPC) System: The INPC system involves evaluation of tumor specimens obtained before therapy for the following morphologic features:[2,3,4,5]Amount of Schwannian stroma.Degree of neuroblastic maturation.Mitosis-karyorrhexis index of the neuroblastic cells.Favorable and unfavorable prognoses are defined on the basis of these histologic parameters and patient age. The prognostic significance of this classification system, and of related systems using similar criteria, has
Recurrent Childhood Ependymoma
Recurrent childhood ependymoma is a tumor that has recurred (come back) after it has been treated. Childhood ependymoma commonly recurs, usually at the original cancer site. The tumor may come back as long as 15 years or more after initial treatment.
Treatment Options by Type of Adult Brain Tumor
A link to a list of current clinical trials is included for each treatment section. For some types or stages of cancer, there may not be any trials listed. Check with your doctor for clinical trials that are not listed here but may be right for you.Astrocytic TumorsBrain Stem GliomasTreatment of brain stem gliomas may include the following:Radiation therapy.Check for U.S. clinical trials from NCI's list of cancer clinical trials that are now accepting patients with adult brain stem glioma. For more specific results, refine the search by using other search features, such as the location of the trial, the type of treatment, or the name of the drug. General information about clinical trials is available from the NCI Web site.Pineal Astrocytic TumorsTreatment of pineal astrocytic tumors may include the following:Surgery and radiation therapy. For high-grade tumors, chemotherapy may also be given.Check for U.S. clinical trials from NCI's list of cancer clinical trials that are now
This information is produced and provided by the National Cancer Institute (NCI). The information in this topic may have changed since it was written. For the most current information, contact the National Cancer Institute via the Internet web site at http://cancer.gov or call 1-800-4-CANCER.Childhood Astrocytomas Treatment
Get More Information From NCI
Call 1-800-4-CANCERFor more information, U.S. residents may call the National Cancer Institute's (NCI's) Cancer Information Service toll-free at 1-800-4-CANCER (1-800-422-6237) Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m., Eastern Time. A trained Cancer Information Specialist is available to answer your questions.Chat online The NCI's LiveHelp® online chat service provides Internet users with the ability to chat online with an Information Specialist. The service is available from 8:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. Eastern time, Monday through Friday. Information Specialists can help Internet users find information on NCI Web sites and answer questions about cancer. Write to usFor more information from the NCI, please write to this address:NCI Public Inquiries Office9609 Medical Center Dr. Room 2E532 MSC 9760Bethesda, MD 20892-9760Search the NCI Web siteThe NCI Web site provides online access to information on cancer, clinical trials, and other Web sites and organizations that offer support
Brain stem gliomas are classified according to their location, radiographic appearance, and histology (when obtained). Brain stem gliomas may occur in the pons, midbrain, tectum, dorsum of the medulla at the cervicomedullary junction, or in multiple regions of the brain stem. The tumor may contiguously involve the cerebellar peduncles, cerebellum, the cervical spinal cord, and/or thalamus. The majority of childhood brain stem gliomas are diffuse, fibrillary astrocytomas that involve the pons (diffuse intrinsic pontine gliomas [DIPG]), often with contiguous involvement of other brain stem sites.[1,2] The prognosis is extremely poor for these tumors. Focal pilocytic astrocytomas have a more favorable prognosis. These most frequently arise in the tectum of the midbrain, focally within the pons, or at the cervicomedullary junction where they are often exophytic, and they have a far better prognosis than diffuse intrinsic tumors.[3,4,5]The genomic characteristics of DIPG appear to
Treatment of Recurrent Childhood Ependymoma
Recurrence is not uncommon in both benign and malignant childhood brain tumors and may develop many years after initial treatment. For ependymoma, late recurrence beyond 10 to 15 years has been reported.[2,3] Disease generally recurs at the primary tumor site, even in children with malignant ependymomas.[4,5] Systemic relapse is extremely rare. At time of relapse, a complete evaluation for extent of recurrence is indicated for all patients. The need for surgical intervention must be individualized on the basis of the extent of the tumor, the length of time between initial treatment and the reappearance of the recurrent lesion, and the clinical picture. Patients with recurrent ependymomas who have not previously received radiation therapy and/or chemotherapy should be considered for treatment with these modalities.[Level of evidence: 3iiiB] In addition, patients may be candidates for focal retreatment with various radiation modalities, including stereotactic
Stage Information and Treatment of Newly Diagnosed and Recurrent Childhood Spinal Cord Tumors
There is no uniformly accepted staging system for childhood primary spinal cord tumors. These tumors are classified and treated based on their location within the spinal cord and histology. Refer to one of the following PDQ summaries for more information on the staging and treatment of newly diagnosed and recurrent childhood spinal cord tumors:Childhood Astrocytomas Treatment.Childhood Central Nervous System Embryonal Tumors Treatment.Childhood Ependymoma Treatment.In general, at the time of recurrence, low-grade spinal cord glial tumors can be treated with re-resection with or without the use of radiation therapy. Recurrent low-grade and high-grade tumors that cannot be re-resected can be treated on protocols designed for histologically similar brain tumors.