Objectives: The spontaneous disappearance of a tumor is referred to as a vanishing tumor. Most vanishing tumors in the brain are eventually diagnosed as malignant tumors or multiple sclerosis. However, their long-term clinical course remains unclear. This study aims to elucidate the management of vanishing tumors in the brain.
Patients and methods: We defined a vanishing tumor as a case in which the tumor spontaneously disappeared or decreased to less than 70% of the initial tumor volume before definitive diagnosis and treatment (other than steroid treatment). Ten cases of vanishing tumors are reviewed.
Results: Nine patients underwent biopsy at least once. Five patients, all of whom had malignant tumors (primary central nervous system lymphoma: 4, germinoma: 1) that recurred in 4-45 months (median: 7 months), underwent a second biopsy after the reappearance of the tumors. Five patients (tumefactive demyelinating lesion: 1, undiagnosed: 4) who had no relapse are alive, and their median follow-up time is 44 months. No cases have yet been reported of malignant brain tumors that recurred more than 5 years after spontaneous regression.
Conclusions: Patients with vanishing tumors should be followed up carefully by magnetic resonance imaging for at least 5 years, even after the disappearance of an enhancing lesion.
Copyright © 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.