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Craniopharyngioma in Children

  • A craniopharyngioma is a tumor of the brain that commonly affects children.

    • The tumor grows in the area of the pituitary gland and the optic nerves, and frequently grows up into the base of your child's brain.
    • It grows from cells that in the developing embryo had helped to form the normal pituitary gland.
    • Portions of the tumor frequently have calcium deposits.
    • The fluid portions of the tumors can reach very large size, and occasionally extend into both sides of the brain.

    Emerging treatments for cysts

    Dana-Farber/Boston Children’s Cancer and Blood Disorders Center researchers are constantly developing new and better treatment options. If cysts formed by the tumor are extremely large and complex, we may utilize certain chemotherapeutic agents, such as Bleomycin, to slow or stop cyst growth by injecting them directly into the cyst themselves. There is relatively limited experience with this technique in North America, but we have used it in a few patients with varying success.

The future of pediatrics will be forged by thinking differently, breaking paradigms and joining together in a shared vision of tackling the toughest challenges before us.”
- Sandra L. Fenwick, President and CEO