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Childhood Ependymoma Treatment (PDQ®): Treatment - Patient Information [NCI] - Treatment Options for Childhood Ependymoma

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 child's doctor for clinical trials that are not listed here but may be right for your child.

Newly Diagnosed Childhood Ependymoma

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A child with a newly diagnosed ependymoma has not had treatment for the tumor. The child may have had treatment to relieve symptoms caused by the tumor.

Treatment for newly diagnosed childhood ependymoma is usually surgery to remove the tumor. More treatment may be given after surgery. Treatment given after surgery depends on the following:

  • Age of the child.
  • Amount of tumor that was removed.
  • Whether cancer cells have spread to other parts of the brain or spinal cord.

Treatment for children aged 3 and older

If the tumor is completely removed by surgery and cancer cells have not spread within the brain and spinal cord, treatment may include the following:

  • Radiation therapy to the tumor bed (the area where the tumor was removed). This may be conformal radiation therapy.
  • A clinical trial of radiation therapy followed by chemotherapy.

If a part of the tumor remains after surgery, but cancer cells have not spread within the brain and spinal cord, treatment may include the following:

  • A second surgery to remove as much of the remaining tumor as possible.
  • Radiation therapy to the tumor bed.
  • A clinical trial of chemotherapy given before and after radiation therapy.

If cancer cells have spread within the brain and spinal cord, treatment may include the following:

  • Radiation therapy to the whole brain and spine.
  • A clinical trial of radiation therapy and chemotherapy.

Treatment for children younger than 3 years of age

When the child is younger than 3 years, treatment may include the following:

  • Chemotherapy. Radiation therapy may be given later.
  • Radiation therapy. This may be conformal radiation therapy.

Check for U.S. clinical trials from NCI's list of cancer clinical trials that are now accepting patients with newly diagnosed childhood ependymoma. 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.

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