Children Are Not Small Adults: Importance of Molecular Analysis for Diagnosis, Prognosis, and Treatment of Pediatric CNS Tumors

  • Peter PytelEmail author
Part of the Molecular and Translational Medicine book series (MOLEMED)


CNS tumors account for 20–24 % of all pediatric neoplasms, making brain tumors the most common type of solid neoplasm in children and the leading cause of cancer-related deaths for children under the age of 14 years (Pediatrics 5:263–270, 2010). In overall frequency among pediatric neoplasms, CNS tumors are second only to leukemias, which account for 30 % of cases. Overall there are about 3,400 new cases a year within the USA (Curr Opin Pediatr 19:670–674, 2007). The biggest groups include gliomas (65 %), medulloblastomas and other embryonal tumors (26 %), and craniopharyngiomas (4 %) (J Child Neurol 24:1375–1386, 2009). There may be some variation in the frequency of specific tumors in different geographic areas. In Japan and Taiwan, for example, germ cell tumors and craniopharyngiomas are more common while medulloblastomas are rarer (Child’s Nerv Syst 26:1029–1034, 2010). The absolute number of cases presenting with a particular tumor is small because of the large diversity of pediatric brain tumors (Pediatrics 5:263–270, 2010).


Medulloblastoma Astrocytoma Pilocytic Heterogeneity Molecular 


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© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PathologyUniversity of Chicago Medical CenterChicagoUSA

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