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Childhood Ependymoma Treatment (PDQ®): Treatment - Patient Information [NCI] - General Information About Childhood Ependymoma


Childhood ependymoma is diagnosed and removed in surgery.

If the diagnostic tests show there may be a brain tumor, a biopsy is done by removing part of the skull and using a needle to remove a sample of the brain tissue. A pathologist views the tissue under a microscope to look for cancer cells. If cancer cells are found, the doctor will remove as much tumor as safely possible during the same surgery.

Craniotomy: An opening is made in the skull and a piece of the skull is removed to show part of the brain.

The following test may be done on the tissue that was removed:

  • Immunohistochemistry: A test that uses antibodies to check for certain antigens in a sample of tissue. The antibody is usually linked to a radioactive substance or a dye that causes the tissue to light up under a microscope. This type of test may be used to tell the difference between brain stem glioma and other brain tumors.

An MRI is often done after the tumor is removed to find out whether any tumor remains.

Certain factors affect prognosis (chance of recovery) and treatment options.

The prognosis (chance of recovery) and treatment options depend on:

  • Where the tumor has formed in the central nervous system (CNS).
  • Whether there are certain changes in the genes or chromosomes.
  • Whether any cancer cells remain after surgery to remove the tumor.
  • The type of ependymoma.
  • The age of the child when the tumor is diagnosed.
  • Whether the cancer has spread to other parts of the brain or spinal cord.
  • Whether the tumor has just been diagnosed or has recurred (come back).

Prognosis also depends on the type and dose of radiation therapy that is given.

This information is produced and provided by the National Cancer Institute (NCI). The information in this topic may have changed since it was written. For the most current information, contact the National Cancer Institute via the Internet web site at http:// cancer .gov or call 1-800-4-CANCER.

WebMD Public Information from the National Cancer Institute

Last Updated: May 28, 2015
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.
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