Brain Tumors

3.4334763948211 (1631)
Posted by bender 04/30/2009 @ 16:10

Tags : brain tumors, cancers, diseases, health

News headlines
A tale of 2 brain tumors - WND.com
A sudden severe pain in her head was diagnosed as a brain tumor. And not just any brain tumor. Cheryl had a glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) tumor, one of the most lethal of all types. (Statistics vary according to numerous factors, but the death rate for...
Exelixis drug shows promise in brain cancer-study - Reuters
N) was shown to shrink brain tumors in some patients, according to interim results from a mid-stage study of the drug, known as XL184. Shares of Exelixis rose 27 percent after hours, while shares of Bristol-Myers were unchanged....
MRI Assisted Laser Interstitial Thermal Therapy for Brain Tumor ... - Medgadget.com
Monteris Medical out of Kalamazoo, Michigan has received FDA approval for the firm's autolitt (Laser Interstitial Thermal Therapy) system for destroying brain tumors from within. Using a standard 1. 5T MRI scanner, the surgeon places the MRI compatible...
New thermal system helps doctors treat brain tumors: Company that ... - Kalamazoo Gazette - MLive.com
Technology being developed by a company with a Kalamazoo office is helping to foster a new way to attack brain tumors. The AutoLITT (Laser Interstitial Thermal Therapy) system from Monteris Medical Inc. uses high-intensity laser energy to heat and...
More on Friends of Jaclyn - New York Times
Walsh said there were more than 300 teams on a waiting list to “adopt” children, and she is attempting to make contact with pediatric oncologists around the country to find families whose kids with pediatric brain tumors could use the vibrant support...
Modern Medicine: Brain Tumor Surgery - WMBB-TV
Frequent headaches could signal a brain tumor. While brain tumors are very serious, there are treatment options. Doctors say the first line of defense for any brain tumor is to remove it surgically. Judy Rivera was having frequent headaches....
Fighting cancer, fighting the system - Los Angeles Times
In addition to the brain tumor, she has a lesion on her lung and is receiving chemotherapy. It can be argued that we spend far too much money keeping terminally ill people alive. But as Buta put it in our conversation, don't we owe it to younger...
Emerging Medical Technologies Together Treat Brain Tumors - eMaxHealth.com
New research from the University of Virginia Health System shows that, when combined, two emerging medical technologies hold significant promise for treating the most deadly and devastating form of brain tumor, glioblastoma multiforme (GBM)....
Fund-raising event supports HUGS, Northwest Brain Tumor Support Group - Gallatin North Missourian
May is Brain Tumor Awareness Week, which takes on a special significance to Northwest Missouri. The publicity and national focus on this area in recent months has certainly brought on a new awareness and perspective of the problem....
Headaches, unusual symptoms could point to brain tumor - Tampabay.com
By Richard Martin, Times Staff Writer Those headaches marked the beginning of a seven-month journey that would culminate last October with the successful surgical removal of a benign brain tumor. Swidock is one of the more than 190000 people in the...

Canine brain tumors

Cancer of the nervous system is common in domestic canids to include primary neoplasia of the peripheral nervous system, primary neoplasia of the central nervous system and various metastatic cancers. Some of the most common of the central nervous system tumors are several types of primary (originating from brain tissue) canine brain tumors. Examples of these include: meningiomas, astrocytomas, glioblastomas, oligodendriomas, choroid plexus papillomas, and pituitary adenomas. Breeds predisposed to brain tumors include: Boxer Dog, Pug, English Bull Dog, Boston Terrier, and Golden Retrievers.

Meningiomas (arising from the meninges, a neural crest-derived cell) are the most common brain tumor of dogs, accounting for 40% of all primary brain tumors. Golden Retrievers as well as other dolichocephalic (long-nosed) breeds are particularly susceptible.

Astrocytomas are the most common neuroectodermal tumor of dogs. Glioblastomas are considered a subset of astrocytomas--a particularly damaging, invasive, and undifferentiated type. Glioblastomas are particularly interesting as it has been shown they are extremely similar to glioblastomas in humans. Studies are underway to use and develop the dog as a model of this devastating disease of humans in the hope that characterizing and successfully treating these tumors in dogs may lead to improved therapies for humans afflicted with this disease. Interestingly, brachycephalic (short-nosed) breeds such as the Boxer, Pug, Boston Terrier and Bulldog have a marked (25 times the normal occurrence) predilection for developing primary brain tumors to include glioblastomas.

Pituitary gland tumors are very common in the canine. A productive form arising from the anterior pituitary is the primary cause of Cushing's Syndrome of dogs. This tumor causes excessive production of cortisol from the adrenal cortex which leads to the classic signs of alopecia (hair loss), polyuria (excessive urination), polydipsia (excessive water drinking), and a pot-bellied appearance of the abdomen due to muscle break down. See picture here.

Two of the most important signs a dog may have an intracranial brain tumor are seizure and unexplained behavioral changes. Seizures manifest as a 1-2 minute diplay of a combination of the following: loss of consciousness, lateral recumbancy (dog lying on its side), paddling of the legs, tremors, and involuntary urination/defacation. Often, the only signs an absent owner may have of a pet dog that has had a siezure is unexplained soiling of the floor by a normally house-broken pet. Behavioral changes can manifest in many ways to include nervousness, barking in the corner (dementia), pacing, aggressiveness or irritation, or deviation from normal routines. "Doggy headaches" can manifest as head pressing against walls, doors, or even owners themselves. Other signs that may be encountered are ataxia (uncoordinated ambulation), circling, blindness, lethargy, and disorientation.

Unfortunately, at this time, there is no true cure (100% remission) for brain tumors in dogs (or any species for that matter.) In practice, brain tumors are generally considered to be malignant due to the delicate and poorly regenerative nature of neurons and restriction of the brain to the finite space of the cranium which does not allow tumor growth devoid of collateral damage to brain parenchyma. Therefore, general long-term prognosis for canine brain tumors is poor. Current treatment of brain tumors revolves around four main modalities: surgery, radiation, chemotherapy, and palliative (pain relieving) care. Depending on the type, extent, and location of the cancer, any one or combination of these techniques may be employed. For instance, the first line treatment for meningiomas is surgery but may be coupled with chemotherapy in an attempt to improve survival time. Intercranial tumors (such as glioblastoma) more commonly rely on radiation therapy as surgical access to the tumor may be prohibitively dangerous. Palliative care tends to include corticosteroids to help reduce swelling and edema around tumors as well as anti-convulsant medications to control seizuring.

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Brain tumor

Hirnmetastase MRT-T1 KM.jpg

A brain tumor is an abnormal growth of cells within the brain or inside the skull, which can be cancerous or non-cancerous (benign).

It is defined as any intracranial tumor created by abnormal and uncontrolled cell division, normally either in the brain itself (neurons, glial cells (astrocytes, oligodendrocytes, ependymal cells), lymphatic tissue, blood vessels), in the cranial nerves (myelin-producing Schwann cells), in the brain envelopes (meninges), skull, pituitary and pineal gland, or spread from cancers primarily located in other organs (metastatic tumors).

Primary (true) brain tumors are commonly located in the posterior cranial fossa in children and in the anterior two-thirds of the cerebral hemispheres in adults, although they can affect any part of the brain.

In the United States in the year 2005, it was estimated there were 43,800 new cases of brain tumors (Central Brain Tumor Registry of the United States, Primary Brain Tumors in the United States, Statistical Report, 2005–2006), which accounted for 1.4 percent of all cancers, 2.4 percent of all cancer deaths, and 20–25 percent of pediatric cancers. Ultimately, it is estimated there are 13,000 deaths per year in the United States alone as a result of brain tumors.

In the US, approximately 2000 children and adolescents younger than 20 years of age are diagnosed with malignant brain tumors each year. Higher incidence rates were reported in 1985–94 than in 1975–84. There is some debate as to possible reasons; one theory is that the trend is the result of improved diagnosis and reporting, since the jump occurred at the same time as MRIs became available widely, and since there was no coincident jump in mortality. The CNS cancer survival rate in children is approximately 60%. The rate varies with the age of onset, with younger patients having higher mortality, and cancer type.

In children under 2, about 70% of brain tumors are medulloblastoma, ependymoma, and low-grade glioma. Less commonly, and seen usually in infants, are teratoma and atypical teratoid rhabdoid tumor. Germ cell tumors, including teratoma, make up just 3% of pediatric primary brain tumors, but the worldwide incidence varies significantly.

Symptoms of brain tumors may depend on two factors: tumor size (volume) and tumor location. The time point of symptom onset in the course of disease correlates in many cases with the nature of the tumor ("benign", i.e. slow-growing/late symptom onset, or malignant, fast growing/early symptom onset) is a frequent reason for seeking medical attention in brain tumor cases.

Large tumors or tumors with extensive perifocal swelling edema inevitably lead to elevated intracranial pressure (intracranial hypertension), which translates clinically into headaches, vomiting (sometimes without nausea), altered state of consciousness (somnolence, coma), dilatation of the pupil on the side of the lesion (anisocoria), papilledema (prominent optic disc at the funduscopic examination). However, even small tumors obstructing the passage of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) may cause early signs of increased intracranial pressure. Increased intracranial pressure may result in herniation (i.e. displacement) of certain parts of the brain, such as the cerebellar tonsils or the temporal uncus, resulting in lethal brainstem compression. In young children, elevated intracranial pressure may cause an increase in the diameter of the skull and bulging of the fontanelles.

Depending on the tumor location and the damage it may have caused to surrounding brain structures, either through compression or infiltration, any type of focal neurologic symptoms may occur, such as cognitive and behavioral impairment, personality changes, hemiparesis, hypesthesia, aphasia, ataxia, visual field impairment, facial paralysis, double vision, tremor etc. These symptoms are not specific for brain tumors - they may be caused by a large variety of neurologic conditions (e.g. stroke, traumatic brain injury). What counts, however, is the location of the lesion and the functional systems (e.g. motor, sensory, visual, etc.) it affects.

A bilateral temporal visual field defect (bitemporal hemianopia—due to compression of the optic chiasm), often associated with endocrine disfunction—either hypopituitarism or hyperproduction of pituitary hormones and hyperprolactinemia is suggestive of a pituitary tumor.

Although there is no specific clinical symptom or sign for brain tumors, slowly progressive focal neurologic signs and signs of elevated intracranial pressure, as well as epilepsy in a patient with a negative history for epilepsy should raise red flags. However, a sudden onset of symptoms, such as an epileptic seizure in a patient with no prior history of epilepsy, sudden intracranial hypertension (this may be due to bleeding within the tumour, brain swelling or obstruction of cerebrospinal fluid's passage) is also possible.

Glioblastoma multiforme and anaplastic astrocytoma have been associated in case reports on PubMed with the genetic acute hepatic porphyrias, including positive testing associated with drug refractory seizures. Unexplained complications associated with drug treatments with these tumors should alert physicians to an undiagnosed neurological porphyria.

Imaging plays a central role in the diagnosis of brain tumors. Early imaging methods—invasive and sometimes dangerous—such as pneumoencephalography and cerebral angiography, have been abandoned in recent times in favor of non-invasive, high-resolution modalities, such as computed tomography (CT) and especially magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Benign brain tumors often show up as hypodense (darker than brain tissue) mass lesions on cranial CT-scans. On MRI, they appear either hypo- (darker than brain tissue) or isointense (same intensity as brain tissue) on T1-weighted scans, or hyperintense (brighter than brain tissue) on T2-weighted MRI. Perifocal edema also appears hyperintense on T2-weighted MRI. Contrast agent uptake, sometimes in characteristic patterns, can be demonstrated on either CT or MRI-scans in most malignant primary and metastatic brain tumors. This is because these tumors disrupt the normal functioning of the blood-brain barrier and lead to an increase in its permeability.

Electrophysiological exams, such as electroencephalography (EEG) play a marginal role in the diagnosis of brain tumors.

The definitive diagnosis of brain tumor can only be confirmed by histological examination of tumor tissue samples obtained either by means of brain biopsy or open surgery. The histological examination is essential for determining the appropriate treatment and the correct prognosis. This examination, performed by a pathologist, typically has three stages: interoperative examination of fresh tissue, preliminary microscopic examination of prepared tissues, and followup examination of prepared tissues after immunohistochemical staining or genetic analysis.

Another possible diagnosis would be neurofibromatosis which can be in type one or type two.

Many meningiomas, with the exception of some tumors located at the skull base, can be successfully removed surgically. In more difficult cases, stereotactic radiosurgery, such as Gamma knife, Cyberknife or Novalis Tx radiosurgery, remains a viable option.

Most pituitary adenomas can be removed surgically, often using a minimally invasive approach through the nasal cavity and skull base (trans-nasal, trans-sphenoidal approach). Large pituitary adenomas require a craniotomy (opening of the skull) for their removal. Radiotherapy, including stereotactic approaches, is reserved for the inoperable cases.

Although there is no generally accepted therapeutic management for primary brain tumors, a surgical attempt at tumor removal or at least cytoreduction (that is, removal of as much tumor as possible, in order to reduce the number of tumor cells available for proliferation) is considered in most cases. However, due to the infiltrative nature of these lesions, tumor recurrence, even following an apparently complete surgical removal, is not uncommon. Several current research studies aim to improve the surgical removal of brain tumors by labeling tumor cells with a chemical (5-aminolevulinic acid) that causes them to fluoresce . Postoperative radiotherapy and chemotherapy are integral parts of the therapeutic standard for malignant tumors. Radiotherapy may also be administered in cases of "low-grade" gliomas, when a significant tumor burden reduction could not be achieved surgically.

Survival rates in primary brain tumors depend on the type of tumor, age, functional status of the patient, the extent of surgical tumor removal, to mention just a few factors.

UCLA Neuro-Oncology publishes real-time survival data for patients with this diagnosis. They are the only institution in the United States that shows how brain tumor patients are performing on current therapies. They also show a listing of chemotherapy agents used to treat high grade glioma tumors.

Patients with benign gliomas may survive for many years, while survival in most cases of glioblastoma multiforme is limited to a few months after diagnosis if treatment is ignored.

The main treatment option for single metastatic tumors is surgical removal, followed by radiotherapy and/or chemotherapy. Multiple metastatic tumors are generally treated with radiotherapy and chemotherapy. Stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS), such as Gamma Knife, Cyberknife or Novalis Tx, radiosurgery, remains a viable option. However, the prognosis in such cases is determined by the primary tumor, and it is generally poor.

Radiotherapy is the commonest treatment for secondary cancer brain tumours. The amount of radiotherapy depends on the size of the area of the brain affected by cancer. Conventional external beam whole brain radiotherapy treatment (WBRT) or 'whole brain irradiation' may be suggested if there is a risk that other secondary tumours will develop in the future. Stereotactic radiotherapy is usually recommended in cases of under three small secondary brain tumours.

In 2008 a study published by the University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center indicated that cancer patients who receive stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) and whole brain radiation therapy (WBRT) for the treatment of metastatic brain tumors have more than twice the risk of developing learning and memory problems than those treated with SRS alone.

A shunt operation is used not as a cure but to relieve the symptoms. The hydrocephalus caused by the blocking drainage of the cerebrospinal fluid can be removed with this operation.

In 2000, researchers at the University of Ottawa, led by John Bell PhD., have discovered that the vesicular stomatitis virus, or VSV, can infect and kill cancer cells, without affecting healthy cells if coadministered with interferon.

The initial discovery of the virus' oncolytic properties were limited to only a few types of cancer. Several independent studies have indentified many more types susceptible to the virus, including glioblastoma multiforme cancer cells, which account for the majority of brain tumors.

In 2008, researchers artificially engineered strains of VSV that were less cytotoxic to normal cells. This advance allows administration of the virus without coadministration with interferon. Consequently administration of the virus can be given intravenously or through the olfactory nerve. In the research, a human brain tumor was implanted into mice brains. The VSV was injected via their tails and within 3 days all tumor cells were either dead or dying.

Research on virus treatment like this has been conducted for some years, but no other viruses have been shown to be as efficient or specific as the VSV mutant strains. Future research will focus on the risks of this treatment, before it can be applied to humans.

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German Brain Tumor Association

The "Deutsche Hirntumorhilfe e.V." (German Brain Tumor Association) – a brain tumor association registered in Germany – is a non-profit organisation dedicated to provide information and support to brain tumor patients. Since its foundation in 1998 more than 500 members from fourteen nations have been registered. Patients and their family members as well as health professionals and scientists get involved within this network with a common goal: Finding a cure for brain tumors – as fast as possible.

The Deutsche Hirntumorhilfe supports science and research especially in the field of neuro-oncology. According to its motto “Knowledge Creates Future”, the association has a special interest in the advancement of scientific research. Apart from providing recent information about therapy standards and proceedings to brain tumor patients, the organisation supports neuro-oncological research projects and facilitates the international transfer of knowledge. The promotion of interdisciplinary cooperation of all the areas of expertise involved in the treatment of brain tumors is one of its major aims.

As a tribute to all brain tumor patients and their families the Deutsche Hirntumorhilfe announced the World Brain Tumor Day in 2000 as an international commemoration day. It is celebrated annually on 8 June.

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Brain lesion theory

Brain lesion theory generally refers to the theory that brain tumors and seizures are associated with aggressive and/or violent behavior.

The theory states that people with damage or lesions to the ventromedial pre-frontal cortex are more inclined to display sociopathic behavior.

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Oligoastrocytoma

Oligoastrocytomas are a subset of brain tumor that present with an appearance of mixed glial cell origin, astrocytoma and oligodendroglioma. Often called a "mixed glioma", about 2.3% of all reported brain tumors are diagnosed as oligoastrocytoma. The median age of diagnosis is 42 years of age. Oligoastrocytomas, like astrocytomas and oligodendrogliomas, can be divided into low-grade and anaplastic variant, the latter characterized by high cellularity, conspicuous cytologic atypism, mitotic activity and, in some cases, microvascular proliferation and necrosis.

However, lower grades can have less aggressive biology.

These are largely supratentorial tumor of adulthood that favor the frontal and temporal lobes.

There are many possible symptoms of oligodendrogliomas that are similar to other gliomas. These symptoms may include headache, seizure and speech or motor changes.

A Computed Tomography (CT) or Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) scan is necessary to characterize the anatomy of this tumor (size, location, heter/homogeneity). However, final diagnosis of this tumor, like most tumors, relies on histopathologic examination (biopsy examination).

If resected, the surgeon will remove as much of this tumor as possible, without disturbing eloquent regions of the brain (speech/motor cortex) and other critical brain structure. Thereafter, treatment may include chemotherapy and radiation therapy of doses and types ranging based upon the patient's needs. Subsequent MRI examination are often necessary to monitor the resection cavity.

Even after surgery, an oligoastrocytoma will often recur. The treatment for a recurring brain tumor may include surgical resection, chemo and radiation therapy. Survival time of this brain tumor varies - younger age and low-grade initial diagnosis are factors in improved survival time.

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The Marcus Foundation

The Marcus Foundation, The Marcus Niziak Childhood Brain Tumor Fund, is a public foundation established in memory of Mark S. Niziak, Jr. ("Marcus") who died of a brain tumor shortly after his fifth birthday. The purpose of The Foundation is to promote and fund clinical research relating to the treatment of childhood brain tumors.

Mark S. Niziak, Jr. ("Marcus") was born on August 29, 1985. Two years later, he was diagnosed with an ependymoma, a tumor that arises from the ependyma. Following his diagnosis, Marcus had his first surgery in June 1987. After which, he started his first round of chemotherapy. From September to December, he underwent a round of radiation. Finally, in the year 1988 it seemed as though the tumor had gone away.

However, by the end of 1988, the cancer returned. At the age of three, Marcus was admitted to the Children's Hospital in Boston for his second surgery. The surgery lasted sixteen hours and was followed by more chemotherapy and a linear accelerator treatment at Brigham and the Women's Hospital in Boston.

In June 1990, Marcus was transferred to New York's Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center to undergo an autologous bone barrow transplant. Unfortunately, the treatment was unsuccessful and Marcus passed away on September 20 1990.

Today, only 30% of the children diagnosed with malignant brain tumors will survive five years after diagnosis. It is the goal of The Marcus Foundation to improve the cure rates of childhood brain tumors through direct funding of organized clinical research. By providing grants, The Foundation assists physicians, across the country, in finding treatments for childhood brain tumors. Grants provided by The Marcus Foundation were instrumental in the construction of the Pediatric Autologous Bone Barrow Transplant room at the New England Medical Center. Donations to The Marcus Foundation contributed to the creation of a sterile room at the Floating Hospital for Children.

The Marcus Foundation is able to fund clinical research and build medical rooms because of the contributions of individuals, corporations, families, and public and corporate foundations. The Foundation accepts both monetary and value-in-kind donations, and organizes various fundraisers throughout the year.

The most important fundraising event that The Foundation holds is the Annual Golf Tournament. It typically begins with a quick lunch, followed by a tee-off. Throughout the duration of the Tournament, refreshments are brought out to the players. Players are separated into four person teams to play a scramble game of golf. In the evening, the event is concluded with a banquet, raffle and silent auction.

The creation and continuance of The Marcus Foundation has been made possible by the support of the people involved, including Dr. Cynthia S. Kretschmar, Dr. Elizabeth Dooling, Frank Bailey, Joyce Leach, Bradley Niziak, Larry and Clair Wilson. Organizations such as The Red Sox and Sunlife Financial have also been instrumental in supporting The Foundation.

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Medulloblastoma

Cerebellar medulloblastoma (1) in adult.JPG

Medulloblastoma is a highly malignant primary brain tumor that originates in the cerebellum or posterior fossa.

Originally considered to be a glioma, medulloblastoma is now known to be of the family of cranial primitive neuroectodermal tumors (PNET).

Tumors that originate in the cerebellum are referred to as infratentorial because they occur below the tentorium, a thick membrane that separates the cerebral hemispheres of the brain from the cerebellum. Another term for medulloblastoma is infratentorial PNET. Medulloblastoma is the most common PNET originating in the brain.

All PNET tumors of the brain are invasive and rapidly growing tumors that, unlike most brain tumors, spread through the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) and frequently metastasize to different locations in the brain and spine.

Brain tumors are the second most common malignancy among children less than 20 years of age. Medulloblastoma is the most common malignant brain tumor, comprising 14.5% of newly diagnosed cases. In adults, medulloblastoma is rare, comprising less than 2% of CNS malignancies.

The incidence of childhood medulloblastoma is higher in males (62%) than females (38%). Medulloblastoma and other PNET tumors are more prevalent in younger children than older children. 40% of medulloblastoma patients are diagnosed before the age of 5, 31% are between the ages of 5 and 9, 18.3% are between the ages of 10 and 14, and 12.7% are between the ages of 15 and 19.

Medulloblastomas usually form in the fourth ventricle, between the brainstem and the cerebellum. Tumors with similar appearance and characteristics originate in other parts of the brain, but they are not identical to medulloblastoma.

Although it is thought that medulloblastomas originate from immature or embryonal cells at their earliest stage of development, the exact cell of origin, or "medulloblast" has yet to be identified.

It is currently thought that medulloblastoma arises from cerebellar "stem cells" that have been prevented from dividing and differentiating into their normal cell types. This accounts from the varying histologic variants seen on biopsy. Rosette formation is highly characteristic of medulloblastoma and is seen in up to half of the cases.

Molecular genetics reveal a loss of genetic information on the distal part of chromosome 17, distal to the p53 gene, possibly accounting for the neoplastic transformation of the undifferentiated cerebellar cells. Medulloblastomas are also seen in Gorlin syndrome as well as Turcot syndrome. Other research has strongly implicated the JC virus, the virus that causes multifocal leukoencephalopathy.

Symptoms are mainly due to secondary increased intracranial pressure due to blockage of the fourth ventricle and are usually present for 1 to 5 months before diagnosis is made. The child typically becomes listless, with repeated episodes of vomiting, and a morning headache, which may lead to a misdiagnosis of gastrointestinal disease or migraine. Soon, the child will develop a stumbling gait, frequent falls, diplopia, papilledema, and sixth cranial nerve palsy. Positional dizziness and nystagmus are also frequent and facial sensory loss or motor weakness may be present. Decerebrate attacks appear late in the disease.

Extraneural metastases to the rest of the body is rare, but usually only after craniotomy.

The tumor is distinctive on T1 and T2-weighted MRI with heterogeneous enhancement and typical location adjacent to and extension into the fourth ventricle.

Histologically, the tumor is solid, pink-gray in color, and is well circumscribed. The tumor is very cellular, many mitoses, little cytoplasm, and has the tendency to form clusters and rosettes.

Correct diagnosis of medulloblastoma may require ruling out atypical teratoid rhabdoid tumor (ATRT) and primitive neuroectodermal tumor (PNET).

Treatment begins with maximal resection of the tumor. The addition of radiation to the entire neuraxis and chemotherapy may increase the disease-free survival. This combination may permit a 5 year survival in more than 80% of cases. The presence of desmoplastic features such as connective tissue formation offers a better prognosis. Prognosis is worse if the child is less than 3 years old, there is an inadequate degree of resection, or if there is any CSF, spinal, supratentorial or systemic spread.

Increased intracranial pressure may be controlled with corticosteroids or a ventriculoperitoneal shunt.

Using gene transfer of SV40 large T-antigen in neuronal precursor cells of rats, a brain tumor model was established. The PNETs were histologically indistinguishable from the human counterparts and have been used to identify new genes involved in human brain tumor carcinogenesis. . The model was used to confirm p53 as one of the genes involved in human medulloblastomas, but since only about 10 % of the human tumors showed mutations in that gene, the model can be used to identify the other binding partners of SV40 Large T- antigen, other than p53.

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American Brain Tumor Association

The American Brain Tumor Association (ABTA), founded in 1973, is a not-for-profit organization that "exists to eliminate brain tumors and to meet the needs of brain tumor patients and their families". The organization is headquartered in Des Plaines, Illinois.

The two founders were mothers of children who died from brain tumors.

ABTA produced an award winning children’s DVD/VHS movie titled Alex’s Journey: the story of a child with a brain tumor.

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Source : Wikipedia