Brain tumors: Medulloblastoma, ATRT, ependymoma

Pediatr Blood Cancer. 2021 May:68 Suppl 2:e28395. doi: 10.1002/pbc.28395. Epub 2020 May 9.


Children with medulloblastoma, atypical teratoid rhabdoid tumor (ATRT), and ependymoma are treated with a multidisciplinary approach including surgery, radiotherapy, and chemotherapy. Lower doses of craniospinal irradiation and tumor bed boost together with chemotherapy are the current standard of care for average-risk medulloblastoma in the Children's Oncology Group (COG). The International Society of Pediatric Oncology (SIOP) is examining the role of hyperfractionated craniospinal irradiation and chemotherapy in high-risk patients. The recent stratification of medulloblastoma into specific molecular risk groups has prompted both COG and SIOP to reexamine the role of these modalities in these different risk groups to maximize cure rates and minimize long-term complications. Proton therapy has shown lower rates of neurocognitive and endocrine complications compared with photons. Ependymomas are treated with maximal surgical resection and adjuvant radiation therapy. The role of chemotherapy in ependymoma is currently being studied in both COG and SIOP. Likewise, for ATRT the role of different high-dose chemotherapy regimens together with local radiation therapy in infants, or craniospinal radiation in older children, is the current focus of research.

Keywords: ATRT; chemotherapy; ependymoma; medulloblastoma; radiation therapy; surgery.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Brain Neoplasms / pathology
  • Brain Neoplasms / therapy*
  • Cerebellar Neoplasms / pathology
  • Cerebellar Neoplasms / therapy*
  • Child
  • Combined Modality Therapy
  • Ependymoma / pathology
  • Ependymoma / therapy*
  • Humans
  • Medulloblastoma / pathology
  • Medulloblastoma / therapy*
  • Rhabdoid Tumor / pathology
  • Rhabdoid Tumor / therapy*
  • Teratoma / pathology
  • Teratoma / therapy*