Ependymomas (World Health Organization [WHO] grade II) and WHO grade I ependymal tumors, i.e., subependymoma and myxopapillary ependymomas, are often curable. (Refer to the Ependymal Tumors section in the Classification section of this summary for more information.)
There are different types of treatment for children with craniopharyngioma.
Different types of treatments are available for children with craniopharyngioma. Some treatments are standard (the currently used treatment), and some are being tested in clinical trials. A treatment clinical trial is a research study meant to help improve current treatments or obtain information on new treatments for patients with tumors. When clinical trials show that a new treatment is better than the standard treatment,...
Surgery followed by radiation therapy to known or suspected residual tumor.[1,2]
Treatment options under clinical evaluation:
At recurrence following surgery, patients should be considered for reoperation and radiation therapy if not previously given. Patients who have received radiation therapy should be considered candidates for nitrosourea-based chemotherapies and for clinical trials that evaluate new drugs and biological response modifiers.
Anaplastic ependymomas (WHO grade III) have variable prognoses that depend on the location and extent of disease. Frequently, but not invariably, anaplastic ependymomas have worse prognoses than lower grade ependymal tumors. (Refer to the Anaplastic Ependymoma section in the Classification section of this summary for more information.)
Adjuvant chemotherapy before, during, and after radiation are treatment options being evaluated. At recurrence, patients should be considered candidates for nitrosourea-based chemotherapies and for clinical trials that evaluate new drugs and biological response modifiers.
Current Clinical Trials
Check for U.S. clinical trials from NCI's list of cancer clinical trials that are now accepting patients with adult ependymal tumors. 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.
Wallner KE, Wara WM, Sheline GE, et al.: Intracranial ependymomas: results of treatment with partial or whole brain irradiation without spinal irradiation. Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys 12 (11): 1937-41, 1986.
Shaw EG, Evans RG, Scheithauer BW, et al.: Postoperative radiotherapy of intracranial ependymoma in pediatric and adult patients. Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys 13 (10): 1457-62, 1987.
Oya N, Shibamoto Y, Nagata Y, et al.: Postoperative radiotherapy for intracranial ependymoma: analysis of prognostic factors and patterns of failure. J Neurooncol 56 (1): 87-94, 2002.