Hemangioblastoma is a rare slow-growing neoplasm often found in the cerebellum, including in the posterior fossa region, or found in the spinal column. Symptoms may include ataxia, discoordination, headaches, nystagmus, and vomiting. Etiology is unknown as most arise spontaneously, but it may be linked to genetic abnormalities. In approximately one quarter of all cases, they are associated with von Hippel-Lindau disease (VHL), an autosomal dominant hereditary syndrome. Standard treatment is surgical excision, sometimes preceded by preoperative embolization to reduce vascularity. To avoid surgery in cases with high vascularity, recent studies have investigated nonsurgical approaches to treatment, such as the use of the β-blocker propranolol. Long-term prognosis is generally good, and recurrence risk is relatively low, even when associated with VHL.
References and Readings
- Albiñana, V., Villar-Gómez de las Heras, K., Serrano-Heras, G., Segura, T., & Belén Perona-Moratalla, A. (2015). Propranolol reduces viability and induces apoptosis in hemangioblastoma cells from von Hippel-Lindau patients. Orphanet Journal of Rare Diseases, 10. https://doi.org/10.1186/s13023-015-0343-5.