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What Are Childhood Central Nervous System Embryonal Tumors?
    Posted: 04/01/2008
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Childhood central nervous system (CNS) embryonal tumors are masses of rapidly growing cells that begin in embryonic (fetal) tissue in the brain and spinal cord. While CNS embryonal tumors can be malignant or benign, most childhood CNS embryonal tumors are malignant.

The PDQ® Childhood Central Nervous System Embryonal Tumors cancer information summary discusses the treatment of the following tumor types:

  • Ependymoblastoma
  • Medulloblastoma
  • Medulloepithelioma
  • Pineoblastoma *
  • Pineal parenchymal tumors of intermediate differentiation *
  • Supratentorial primitive neuroectodermal tumor (SPNET)

* Pineoblastoma and pineal parenchymal tumors of intermediate differentiation are brain tumors that occur in or around the pineal gland, a tiny organ near the center of the brain. These CNS embryonal tumors are classified separately by the World Health Organization, but are currently treated like other childhood CNS embryonal tumors.

Childhood atypical teratoid/ rhabdoid tumors are also considered childhood CNS embryonal tumors, but are treated differently than other childhood CNS embryonal tumors. The treatment of childhood atypical teratoid/ rhabdoid tumors will be discussed in a separate PDQ summary which will be published on this Web site in the very near future.

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