Skip to content
My WebMD Sign In, Sign Up

Brain Cancer Health Center

Font Size

Cellular Classification

The classification of brain tumors is based on both histopathologic characteristics and location in the brain. More than 80% of all childhood cerebellar gliomas will be pilocytic astrocytomas, which are also considered to be grade 1 astrocytomas. Most of the remainder will be diffuse or fibrillary astrocytomas. Malignant gliomas are rare.[1] The pathologic classification of pediatric brain tumors is a specialized area that is undergoing evolution; review of the diagnostic tissue by a neuropathologist who has particular expertise in this area is strongly recommended.

These generally low-grade, often cystic astrocytic tumors are localized to the cerebellum. Except for malignant gliomas, contiguous spread or metastasis outside that region is extremely rare. The presence of certain histologic features has been used retrospectively to stratify cerebellar astrocytomas into two distinct groups: pilocytic or Gilles type A tumors and diffuse or Gilles type B tumors; the latter tumors have a poor prognosis.[2] Expert neuropathologic review is important.

References:

  1. Kleihues P, Cavenee WK, eds.: Pathology and Genetics of Tumours of the Nervous System. Lyon, France: International Agency for Research on Cancer, 2000.
  2. Gilles FH, Sobel EL, Tavaré CJ, et al.: Age-related changes in diagnoses, histological features, and survival in children with brain tumors: 1930-1979. The Childhood Brain Tumor Consortium. Neurosurgery 37 (6): 1056-68, 1995.
1

WebMD Public Information from the National Cancer Institute

Last Updated: March 09, 2010
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.

Today on WebMD

human brain xray
Article
Computed Tomography CT Scan Of The Head
Article
 
Integrative Medicine Cancer Quiz
Article
what is your cancer risk
Health Check
 

Malignant Gliomas
Article
Pets Improve Your Health
SLIDESHOW
 
Headache Emergencies
Video
life after a brain tumor
VIDEO
 

Would you consider trying alternative or complementary therapies?


WebMD Special Sections