What is it?

This is a tumor of the posterior cranial fossa that occurs in the first decade of life, usually in children younger than 5 years old.

It accounts for 5-6% of intracranial tumors and 60% of spinal tumors. In the latter case, it is more common after the age of 40.

Ependymoma is subdivided into non-anaplastic (degree II), including myxopapillary ependymoma, characteristic of terminal filament, and anaplastic (degree III).

Which are the symptoms?

On neuroradiological examination, an ependymoma appears as a solid mass, usually located in the area of the fundus of the IV ventricle, which is often infiltrated. This location contains very sensitive nerve centers that control vital functions such as breathing and swallowing: for this reason, radical surgical removal is often difficult and risky.

How is it diagnosed?

Epondymoma may cause metastases to other parts of the central nervous system, usually to the spinal cord (spreading along the cerebrospinal fluid outflow tract). For this reason, the staging phase after diagnosis should include a cytological study of the lumbar puncture cerebrospinal fluid and magnetic resonance imaging of the entire spinal cord.

Suggested exams

How is it treated?

Treatment of this tumor is mainly surgical, aimed at maximizing eradication, depending on the site of the lesion. The prognosis depends largely on the type of tumor.

If the tumor can be removed completely, if the results of cerebrospinal fluid cytology and magnetic resonance imaging of the spinal cord are negative, and if degree II is determined by histology, only radiation therapy of the operated locus is indicated after surgery.

Under these conditions, recovery is expected in 70-80% of cases.

Oncological treatment involves a combination of radiation therapy and chemotherapy for patients for whom radical removal was not possible, for patients with spinal metastases or for patients with anaplastic form on histology.

In these cases, unfortunately, the ten-year survival rate is less than 50%.

Suggested procedures

Where do we treat it?

Within the San Donato Group, you can find Ependymoma specialists at these departments:

Are you interested in receiving the treatment?

Contact us and we will take care of you.