Skip to content

Brain Cancer Health Center

Font Size

Childhood Ependymoma Treatment (PDQ®): Treatment - Health Professional Information [NCI] - Treatment of Newly Diagnosed Childhood Ependymoma or Anaplastic Ependymoma

Standard treatment options for newly diagnosed ependymoma (WHO Grade II) or anaplastic ependymoma (WHO Grade III) include the following:

  1. Surgery.
  2. Adjuvant therapy.
    • Treatment options for no residual disease, no disseminated disease.
    • Treatment options for residual disease, no disseminated disease.
    • Treatment options for central nervous system (CNS) disseminated disease.
    • Treatment options for children younger than 3 years.

Typically, all patients undergo surgery to remove the tumor. Whether additional treatment is given depends on the extent of tumor resection and whether there is disseminated disease.

Recommended Related to Brain Cancer

Jean Smart Takes a Leading Role in Battling Brain Cancer

Jean Smart is used to changing roles. The blond beauty first made audiences laugh as Charlene Stillfield on CBS's Designing Women sitcom, won two Emmy Awards as Lana Gardner on NBC's Frasier, and took home a third for her role on ABC's comedic hit Samantha Who? in 2007. She also made a splash as the emotionally unstable but smart wife of the president in the fifth season of Fox's TV thriller 24 in 2006. Now, in one of her most important roles yet, the Seattle native has joined forces with the Chris...

Read the Jean Smart Takes a Leading Role in Battling Brain Cancer article > >

Surgery

Surgery should be performed in an attempt at maximal tumor reduction. Evidence suggests that more extensive surgical resection is related to an improved rate of survival.[1,2,3,4,5]; [6][Level of evidence: 3iDii] Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) should be performed postoperatively to confirm the extent of resection. If not performed preoperatively, MRI of the entire neuraxis to evaluate disease dissemination and cerebrospinal fluid cytopathology should be performed.

Patients with residual tumor or disseminated disease should be considered at high risk for relapse and should be treated on protocols specifically designed for them. Those with no evidence of residual tumor still have an approximate 20% to 40% relapse risk in spite of postoperative radiation therapy.

Anecdotal experience suggests that surgery alone for completely resected supratentorial nonanaplastic tumors and intradural spinal cord ependymomas may, in select cases, be an appropriate approach to treatment.[7,8][Level of evidence: 3iiiDi]; [9,10][Level of evidence: 3iiiDiii]

Adjuvant Therapy

Treatment options for no residual disease, no disseminated disease

Radiation therapy

The traditional postsurgical treatment for these patients has been radiation therapy consisting of 54 Gy to 55.8 Gy to the tumor bed for children aged 3 years and older.[11] It is not necessary to treat the entire CNS (whole brain and spine) because these tumors usually recur initially at the local site.[12]; [13][Level of evidence: 3iiiA] When possible, patients should be treated in a center experienced with the delivery of highly conformal radiation therapy (including intensity-modulated radiation therapy or charged-particle radiation therapy) to pediatric patients with brain tumors.

    1|2|3|4|5
    Next Article:

    Today on WebMD

    doctor and patient
    How to know when it’s time for home care
    doctory with x-ray
    Here are 10 to know.
     
    sauteed cherry tomatoes
    Fight cancer one plate at a time.
    Lung cancer xray
    See it in pictures, plus read the facts.
     
    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?