Pediatric Brain Tumors

What Are Pediatric Brain Tumors?

Pediatric brain tumors are masses of abnormal cells located in a child’s brain or the tissue and structures nearby. There are many types of pediatric brain tumors – some of which are benign, while others are cancerous.


Brain tumors in children typically begin when normal cells have DNA mutations, which grow and divide at increased rates. This results in a mass of abnormal cells that ultimately forms a tumor.


Common forms of pediatric brain tumors include:


  • Choroid plexus carcinoma – a rare cancerous brain tumor that most often occurs in children under two years old.
  • Craniopharyngioma – a noncancerous brain tumor that begins near the brain’s pituitary gland and secretes hormones that affect the function of the pituitary bland.
  • Embryonal tumors – a cancerous brain tumor that starts in the fetal (embryonic) cells in the brain. Occurs mainly in babies and young children.
  • Ependymoma – a malignant tumor that forms in the tissues of the brain and spinal cord.
  • Glioma – one of the most common of brain tumors, gliomas can affect brain function and can be life-threatening.
  • Medulloblastoma – this is a cancerous brain tumor that starts in the cerebellum and can affect balance, motor function, and movement.
  • Pineoblastoma – this is a rare, aggressive type of cancer that begins in the cells of the brain’s pineal gland, which controls the sleep-wake cycle.
pediatric brain tumors
pediatric brain tumors

Treatment Options

As you can imagine, treatment for pediatric brain tumors can be quite different from treatment for adult brain tumors, so it’s very important that you enlist the help of an experienced pediatric neurosurgeon.


Your child’s prognosis and our approach to treatment will depend on the type of tumor your child has, its location, and whether it has spread. Other important factors include your child’s age and general health.

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