Ependymoblastoma is an extremely rare malignant brain tumor, which occurs mainly in young children. In most cases, it is detected during the first 5 years of life, and sometimes right after birth. Stereoscopic biopsy of the brain is used for ultimate diagnosis confirmation. Ependymoblastoma treatment involves all sorts of antineoplastic therapy, i.e. surgery, radiotherapy and chemotherapy.
Ependymoblastoma is resected to the fullest extent possible. Ideally, the entire mass of cancer cells is removed. Often, however, at the time of diagnosis, the tumor invades the adjacent brain structures, so it is removed partially. In western clinics, the tissues are excised by laser or ultrasound technology, which improves the accuracy and safety of the intervention.
Radiotherapy is prescribed after surgery to destroy the tumor remnants and prevent the relapse. For inoperable ependymoblastomas, the radiation can be considered as the only treatment method.
In pediatric oncology, the conventional X-ray exposure has given way to proton therapy. This technology is based on tumor irradiation by proton beams at different angles. Converging at one point, the charged particles produce the desired radiation dose. At the same time, the energy is not disseminated beyond the pathological focus, which eliminates the hazards to the healthy brain tissues.
Proton therapy is performed on an outpatient basis. The treatment course typically takes a few weeks. Treatments are repeated every day, except weekends.
For partial removal or inoperable ependymoblastomas, the radiosurgery (Gamma Knife) may be used. The method implies a single tumor irradiation with a very high radiation dose. As in the case of proton therapy, the impact is focal, without damage to the surrounding tissue. The treatment results (cancer cell death and tumor necrosis) are manifested within 6 to 24 months.
Chemotherapy drugs are rarely prescribed for ependymoblastoma, mainly when the radiotherapy is not possible. The treatment is administered after tumor surgical removal.
In severe cases, the high-dose chemotherapy followed by autologous bone marrow transplantation is possible.Hide
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