What is craniopharyngioma?

Craniopharyngioma is a childhood brain tumor.

Craniopharyngioma develops in the area of the brain called the pituitary gland and can extend to other areas of the brain. This can cause hormone dysfunction or vision problems. This tumor grows from cells that in the developing embryo had helped to form the normal pituitary gland. The pituitary gland secretes various hormones into the bloodstream.

Craniopharyngiomas can vary in size and may have cysts (fluid filled sacs). The cysts can become very large in size, and occasionally extend into both sides of the brain. Craniopharyngiomas also can have calcium deposits within them.

How Dana-Farber/Boston Children's approaches craniopharyngioma

Children with craniopharygioma are treated through the Brain Tumor Center at Dana-Farber/Boston Children's Cancer and Blood Disorders Center, a world-renowned destination for children with malignant and non-malignant brain and spinal cord tumors. Our brain tumor specialists have extensive expertise in treating all types of neural tumors, including craniopharyngiomas. Our patients receive care from neuro-oncologists, neurosurgeons, neurologists and pediatric subspecialists.

Find in-depth information on craniopharyngioma on the Dana-Farber/Boston Children's website, including details on craniopharyngioma symptoms, treatment, research and more.