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About This PDQ Summary
PURPOSE OF THIS SUMMARY This PDQ cancer information summary for health professionals provides comprehensive,peer-reviewed,evidence-based information about the treatment of childhood brain and spinal cord tumors. It is intended as a resource to inform and assist clinicians who care for cancer patients. It does not provide formal guidelines or recommendations for making health care decisions. ...
Management of Specific Tumor Types and Locations
Note: Some citations in the text of this section are followed by a level of evidence. The PDQ editorial boards use a formal ranking system to help the reader judge the strength of evidence linked to the reported results of a therapeutic strategy. (Refer to the PDQ summary on Levels of Evidence for more information.)Brain Stem GliomasStandard treatment options:Radiation therapy.Brain stem gliomas have relatively poor prognoses that correlate with histology (when biopsies are performed), location, and extent of tumor. The overall median survival time of patients in studies has been 44 to 74 weeks.Current Clinical TrialsCheck for U.S. clinical trials from NCI's list of cancer clinical trials that are now accepting patients with adult brain stem glioma. The list of clinical trials can be further narrowed by location, drug, intervention, and other criteria.General information about clinical trials is also available from the NCI Web site.Pineal Astrocytic TumorsStandard treatment
Nonfunctioning Pituitary Tumors Treatment
Standard Treatment Options for Nonfunctioning Pituitary TumorsStandard treatment options for nonfunctioning pituitary tumors include the following:Surgery (preferably with a transsphenoidal approach) followed by close observation with radiation therapy reserved for recurrence.[1,2]Radiation therapy.[1,2,3]Surgery and postoperative radiation therapy.[1,2]The selection of treatment for patients with nonfunctioning (endocrine-inactive) tumors will depend on tumor size, the progressive course of the disease, and anatomical structures affected by the tumor extension. The majority of patients present with suprasellar extension and visual field deficits. In addition, many have hormone deficits prior to treatment. The initial treatment of patients with gonadotroph adenomas is usually by transsphenoidal surgery, particularly if the adenoma presents with neurological symptoms, because the effect of radiation therapy occurs too slowly, and no reliable medical therapy exists.Surgical
Treatment Option Overview
Many of the improvements in survival in childhood cancer have been made as a result of clinical trials that have attempted to improve on the best available,accepted therapy. Clinical trials in pediatrics are designed to compare new therapy with therapy that is currently accepted as standard. This comparison may be done in a randomized study of two treatment arms or by evaluating a single new ...
Treatment Options for Spinal Cord Tumors
Treatment of spinal cord tumors may include the following:Surgery to remove the tumor.Radiation therapy.Chemotherapy, if the tumor has spread from the spinal cord to the leptomeninges (the two innermost membranes covering the brain and spinal cord).A clinical trial of a new treatment.
Stages of Childhood Ependymoma
After the childhood ependymoma has been removed,tests are done to find out if there is tumor remaining. The extent or spread of cancer is usually described as stages. For childhood ependymoma,tumors are described by grade and by where they are located in the central nervous system (brain and spinal cord). The grade of the tumor refers to how abnormal the cancer cells look under a microscope ...
Classification of Adult Brain Tumors
This classification is based on the World Health Organization (WHO) classification of central nervous system (CNS) tumors. The WHO approach incorporates and interrelates morphology, cytogenetics, molecular genetics, and immunologic markers in an attempt to construct a cellular classification that is universally applicable and prognostically valid. Earlier attempts to develop a TNM-based classification were dropped: tumor size (T) is less relevant than tumor histology and location, nodal status (N) does not apply because the brain and spinal cord have no lymphatics, and metastatic spread (M) rarely applies because most patients with CNS neoplasms do not live long enough to develop metastatic disease.The WHO grading of CNS tumors establishes a malignancy scale based on histologic features of the tumor. The histologic
PDQ IS A COMPREHENSIVE CANCER DATABASE AVAILABLE ON NCI'S WEB SITE. PDQ is the National Cancer Institute's (NCI's) comprehensive cancer information database. Most of the information contained in PDQ is available online at NCI's Web site. PDQ is provided as a service of the NCI. The NCI is part of the National Institutes of Health,the federal government's focal point for biomedical research. .