Brain Tumors

Published on 06/06/2015 by admin

Filed under Pediatrics

Last modified 06/06/2015

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57 Brain Tumors

Tumors of the central nervous system (CNS) are the most common solid tumors of childhood and the primary source of cancer-related morbidity and mortality in this age group. Benign and malignant tumors may be equally life threatening because of an unfavorable location in the brain or spinal cord and the inability to safely achieve a surgical resection. Survival rates have improved significantly over the past 2 decades because of improvements in neuroimaging, neurosurgical techniques, radiation therapy, chemotherapy, and supportive care.

Nearly half of all childhood brain tumors arise infratentorially—in the brainstem, cerebellum, and fourth ventricle—and are classified according to histology. The most common malignant brain tumor is medulloblastoma, and the most common benign brain tumor is low-grade glioma. A discussion of the common pediatric tumors with emphasis on evaluation, management, and prognosis is outlined in this chapter.