Medulloblastoma is the most common cancerous brain tumor in children, accounting for nearly 1 in 5 of all pediatric brain tumors.
It almost always starts in the lower back part of the brain, called the cerebellum, and tends to spread through spinal fluid. Medulloblastoma rarely spreads beyond the brain and spinal cord.
Treatment for medulloblastoma usually consists of a combination of surgery, radiation and chemotherapy.
About three-fourths of children with medulloblastoma treated with this combined approach survive into adulthood. Survival depends on many factors, including age of diagnosis as well as the size, type, location and growth rate of the tumor.
Therapies for medulloblastoma may cause delayed complications that can affect quality of life after treatment.
Clinical trials and ongoing research are currently looking at ways to reduce those side effects of therapy while effectively treating the disease.
June 27, 2017
- What you need to know about brain tumors. National Cancer Institute. http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/wyntk/brain. Accessed Oct. 4, 2013.
- Adult brain tumors treatment (PDQ): Health professional version. National Cancer Institute. http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/pdq/treatment/adultbrain/healthprofessional. Accessed Oct. 4, 2013.
- Daroff RB, et al. Bradley's Neurology in Clinical Practice. 6th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders Elsevier; 2012. https://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed Oct. 4, 2013.
- Childhood brain and spinal cord tumors treatment overview (PDQ): Health professional version. National Cancer Institute. http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/pdq/treatment/childbrain/healthprofessional. Accessed Oct. 4, 2013.
- Niederhuber JE, et al., eds. Abeloff's Clinical Oncology. 5th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Churchill Livingstone Elsevier; 2014. http://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed Oct. 4, 2013.
- Armstrong TS, et al. Use of complementary and alternative medical therapy by patients with primary brain tumors. Current Neurology and Neuroscience Reports. 2008;8:264.
- Avastin (prescribing information). South San Francisco, Calif.: Genentech Inc.; 2013. http://www.avastin.com/patient/index.html. Accessed Oct. 4, 2013.
- Afinitor (prescribing information). East Hanover, N.J.: Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corp.; 2014. http://www.afinitor.com. Accessed Oct. 4, 2013.
- Temodar (prescribing information). Whitehouse Station, N.J.: Merck & Co. Inc.; 2013. http://www.temodar.com. Accessed Oct. 4, 2013.
- Taking time: Support for people with cancer. National Cancer Institute. http://cancer.gov/cancertopics/takingtime. Accessed Oct. 4, 2013.
- Brain SPOREs. National Cancer Institute. http://trp.cancer.gov/spores/brain.htm. Accessed Oct. 9, 2013.
- Golden AK. Decision Support System. Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. Aug. 2, 2013.
- Pomeroy SL. Treatment and prognosis of medulloblastoma. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Sept. 9, 2015.
- Medulloblastoma. American Brain Tumor Association. http://www.abta.org/brain-tumor-information/types-of-tumors/medulloblastoma.html. Accessed Sept. 9, 2015.
- Millard NE, et al. Medullablastoma. Journal of Child Neurology. In press. Accessed Sept. 9, 2015.