Pleomorphic Xanthoastrocytoma | Diagnosis & Treatment

How is pleomorphic xanthoastrocytoma diagnosed?

Diagnostic procedures for a pleomorphic xanthoastrocytoma (PXA) may include:

After all tests are completed, doctors will be able to outline the best treatment options.

What are the treatment options for pleomorphic xanthoastrocytoma?

The following treatments may be used alone or in combination to treat PXA:

  • neurosurgery
  • radiation therapy may be considered, but does not influence long-term outcomes.
  • biologic therapy

Researchers at Dana-Farber/Boston Children's Cancer and Blood Disorders Center have discovered a mutation that occurs in over half of all patients with PXA and there are now new drugs that target this mutation available. There can be side-effects related to the tumor itself or its treatment. Knowing what these side effects are can help physicians prepare for and, in some cases, prevent these symptoms from occurring.

Progressive or recurrent disease

Recurrences can happen with PXAs. Radiation therapy should be considered for patients with recurrent disease whose tumor has been completely removed. If disease recurs in patients whose tumors have been incompletely removed, a second attempt at surgical removal is usually performed.