Pineoblastoma and supratentorial primitive neuroectodermal tumors are childhood cancers that originate in the brain and are malignant.
Supratentorial primitive neuroectodermal tumors start in the cerebrum, a part of the brain located at the top of the head. The cerebrum is the largest part of the brain and is responsible for a wide variety of critical functions such as thinking, learning, problem solving, and making movements.
These tumors are also known as cerebral neuroblastomas and cerebral medulloblastomas.
Pineoblastoma are tumors that originate and form on the pineal gland. This is a tiny gland located in the brain that controls a person’s waking and sleeping cycle. The cause of pineoblastoma and supratentorial primitive neuroectodermal tumors is not known.
Signs and Symptoms
The signs and symptoms of pineoblastoma and supratentorial primitive neuroectodermal tumors vary depending on the child’s age and the size and location of the tumor. A few common symptoms include weakness on one side of the body, headaches, nausea, vomiting, and seizures. Patients might also experience a change in their energy level and feel more sleepy.
In order to diagnose pineoblastoma and supratentorial primitive neuroectodermal tumors doctors perform many tests that look at that brain and spinal cord. They will usually perform a scanning test such as a CT scan or an MRI to gather more information about the size and location of the tumor. A biopsy of the cells will also be performed. This can mean having to remove a piece of the skull.
Pineoblastoma and supratentorial primitive neuroectodermal tumors can spread to other parts of the body and this is important to know before determining a plan for treatment. Tests to find out whether the cancer has spread include a lumbar puncture (also known as a spinal tap), bone scans and chest x-rays.
Different treatment plans are needed for children being treated with cancer. They are still developing and can react very differently to medications than adults do. A team of doctors led by a pediatric oncologist will work together to determine the best plan of treatment.
Treatment for pineoblastoma and supratentorial primitive neuroectodermal tumors often involves a combination of surgery, radiation and chemotherapy. One of the main factors in determining treatment is whether or not the cancer has spread.
Prognosis for pineoblastoma and supratentorial primitive neuroectodermal tumors varies greatly depending on several factors. The age of the patient, the size of the tumor and whether or not the cancer has spread are some of the major factors that affect a patient’s prognosis.
Pineoblastoma and supratentorial primitive neuroectodermal tumors often recur. Prognosis also sometimes depends on whether or not all of the cancerous cells were removed during the initial treatment.