Current Management of Medulloblastoma

  • Ian F Follack

Medulloblastoma is the most common posterior fossa tumor of childhood. Affected patients typically present with rapidly progressive headache, nausea, and vomiting from obstructive hydrocephalus. Medulloblastomas are inherently invasive lesions and show a high frequency of dissemination at diagnosis. Thus, although surgery plays an essential role in reducing the tumor burden and in opening the ventricular system and although it has an impact on prognosis, multi modal adjuvant therapy is essential to treat what is in reality an invasive, potentially multicentric disease process. During the past 25 years, advances in the surgical and adjuvant management have substantially improved the outlook for children with these tumors, making this one of the true “success stories” of pediatric neuro-oncologyi however, there is still substantial room for further progress, particularly in children with extensive postoperative residual disease and in those with dissemination. Ongoing studies are exploring ways of improving further the survival rate in these “high-risk” patients and reducing the treatment-related long-term morbidity in “standard-risk” patients. This chapter reviews recent advances in the molecular biology, diagnosis, and treatment of these tumors.


Pediatric Brain Tumor Primitive Neuroectodermal Tumor Posterior Fossa Tumor Craniospinal Irradiation Implantable Drug Delivery System 
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© Current Medicine, Inc. 1998

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  • Ian F Follack

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