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

Newly Diagnosed Childhood Ependymoma

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

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Treatment of newly diagnosed subependymoma (WHO Grade I) is:

  • Surgery.
  • Observation (rarely).

Myxopapillary ependymoma

Treatment of newly diagnosed myxopapillary ependymoma (WHO Grade I) is:

  • Surgery with or without radiation therapy.

Childhood ependymoma or anaplastic ependymoma

Treatment of newly diagnosed childhood ependymoma (WHO Grade II) or anaplastic ependymoma (WHO Grade III) is:

  • Surgery.

After surgery, the plan for further treatment depends on the following:

  • Whether any cancer cells remain after surgery.
  • Whether the cancer has spread to other parts of the brain or spinal cord.
  • The age of the child.

When the tumor is completely removed and cancer cells have not spread, treatment may include the following:

  • Radiation therapy.
  • A clinical trial of radiation therapy followed by chemotherapy.
  • A clinical trial of observation for patients whose tumor is completely removed or who have no sign of cancer after chemotherapy.

When part of the tumor remains after surgery, but cancer cells have not spread, treatment may include the following:

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

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

  • Radiation therapy to the brain and spinal cord.

Treatment for children younger than 3 years of age may include the following:

  • Chemotherapy.
  • Radiation therapy.
  • A clinical trial of 3-dimensional (3D) conformal radiation therapy or proton-beam 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. Talk with your child's doctor about clinical trials that may be right for your child. General information about clinical trials is available from the NCI Web site.

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