J Child Neurol. 2016 Oct;31(12):1341-53. doi: 10.1177/0883073815600866. Epub 2015 Sep 2.


Medulloblastoma accounts for nearly 10% of all childhood brain tumors. These tumors occur exclusively in the posterior fossa and have the potential for leptomeningeal spread. Treatment includes a combination of surgery, radiation therapy (in patients >3 years old). Patients >3 years old are stratified based on the volume of postoperative residual tumor and the presence or absence of metastases into "standard risk" and "high risk" categories with long-term survival rates of approximately 85% and 70%, respectively. Outcomes are inferior in infants and children younger than 3 years with exception of those patients with the medulloblastoma with extensive nodularity histologic subtype. Treatment for medulloblastoma is associated with significant morbidity, especially in the youngest patients. Recent molecular subclassification of medulloblastoma has potential prognostic and therapeutic implications. Future incorporation of molecular subgroups into treatment protocols will hopefully improve both survival outcomes and posttreatment quality of life.

Keywords: chemotherapy; embryonal tumor; medulloblastoma; pediatric brain tumor; posterior fossa mass.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Brain Neoplasms / diagnosis*
  • Brain Neoplasms / metabolism
  • Brain Neoplasms / mortality
  • Brain Neoplasms / therapy*
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Medulloblastoma / diagnosis*
  • Medulloblastoma / metabolism
  • Medulloblastoma / mortality
  • Medulloblastoma / therapy*