At Mayo Clinic, a team of experts works with you to determine which craniopharyngioma treatment is best for you. Treatment for craniopharyngioma usually involves surgery.
Surgery to remove all or most of the tumor is most often recommended for people with craniopharyngioma. What type of operation is performed will depend on the location and size of your tumor.
To access the tumor, the surgeon may use:
When possible, surgeons remove the entire tumor. But because there are often many delicate and important structures nearby, doctors sometimes can't remove the entire tumor. In those situations, other treatments may be used after surgery.
When a tumor can't be removed completely with surgery, your doctor may recommend stereotactic radiosurgery. Technically a type of radiation and not an operation, stereotactic radiosurgery focuses multiple beams of radiation on precise points to kill the tumor cells.
Other forms of radiation therapy may be used to treat craniopharyngioma, depending on the situation. Radiation uses powerful energy beams, such as X-rays, to kill tumor cells.
Mayo Clinic radiation oncologists use the latest radiation technology, including intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) and intraoperative radiation therapy (IORT). These advanced procedures help treat the cancer effectively while limiting radiation to normal tissues, such as the eyes, optic nerves, brain, brainstem and spinal cord.