Childhood Central Nervous System Atypical Teratoid/Rhabdoid Tumor Treatment (PDQ®): Treatment - Patient Information [NCI] - General Information About Atypical Teratoid / Rhabdoid Tumor
Atypical teratoid/rhabdoid tumor may be linked to a change in a tumor suppressor gene called SMARCB1. This type of gene makes a protein that helps control cell growth. Changes in the DNA of tumor suppressor genes like SMARCB1 may lead to cancer.
Changes in the SMARCB1 gene may be inherited (passed on from parents to offspring). When the SMARCB1 gene change is inherited, tumors may form in two parts of the body at the same time (for example, in the brain and the kidney). If AT/RT is diagnosed, genetic counseling (a discussion with a trained professional about inherited diseases and a possible need for gene testing) may be recommended.
The symptoms of atypical teratoid/rhabdoid tumor are not the same in every patient.
Because atypical teratoid/rhabdoid tumor is fast growing, symptoms may develop quickly and progress over a period of days or weeks. Symptoms vary and depend on the age of the patient and where the tumor has formed.
These symptoms may be caused by AT/RT or by other conditions. Check with a doctor if your child has any of the following problems:
- Morning headache or headache that goes away after vomiting.
- Nausea and vomiting.
- Unusual sleepiness or change in activity level.
- Loss of balance, lack of coordination, or trouble walking.
- Increase in head size (in infants).
Tests that examine the brain and spinal cord are used to detect (find) atypical teratoid/rhabdoid tumor.
The following tests and procedures may be used:
- Physical exam and history: An exam of the body to check general signs of health, including checking for signs of disease, such as lumps or anything else that seems unusual. A history of the patient's health habits and past illnesses and treatments will also be taken.
- Neurological exam: A series of questions and tests to check the brain, spinal cord, and nerve function. The exam checks a person's mental status, coordination, and ability to walk normally, and how well the muscles, senses, and reflexes work. This may also be called a neuro exam or a neurologic exam.
- CT scan (CAT scan): A procedure that makes a series of detailed pictures of areas inside the body, such as the abdomen or pelvis, taken from different angles. The pictures are made by a computer linked to an x-ray machine. A dye may be injected into a vein or swallowed to help the organs or tissues show up more clearly. This procedure is also called computed tomography, computerized tomography, or computerized axial tomography.
- MRI (magnetic resonance imaging): A procedure that uses a magnet, radio waves, and a computer to make a series of detailed pictures of areas inside the brain and spinal cord. This procedure is also called nuclear magnetic resonance imaging (NMRI).
- Lumbar puncture: A procedure used to collect cerebrospinal fluid from the spinal column. This is done by placing a needle into the spinal column. This procedure is also called an LP or spinal tap.
- Ultrasound exam: A procedure in which high-energy sound waves (ultrasound) are bounced off internal tissues or organs and make echoes. The echoes form a picture of body tissues called a sonogram. A renal ultrasound is used to check for AT/RT that may develop in the kidneys at the same time as in the brain.
- INI1gene testing: A laboratory test in which a sample of blood or tissue is tested for the INI1 gene.