Current Approaches to Craniopharyngioma Management

Front Biosci (Landmark Ed). 2022 Dec 21;27(12):328. doi: 10.31083/j.fbl2712328.


Craniopharyngiomas (CP) are rare noncancerous brain tumors located in the skull base. To date, CP remain challenging-to-resect tumors, owing to their difficult location and invasive potential, with profound adverse effects for the patient if left to grow. Indeed, gross total resection may also be accompanied by unwelcome sequalae, underscoring the need for continued investigation. In the present work, we provide a scoping review of current CP management, with emphasis on our knowledge of their genesis, available treatment options, post-intervention clinical outcomes. Leading theories of CP development are (1) the embryonic theory, explaining the development of adamantinomatous CP from epithelial remnants of Rathke's pouch and (2) the metaplastic theory, which describes papillary CP development as a result of adenohypophyseal cell metaplasia. Treatment may include surgery, intracystic therapy, or irradiation depending on tumor size, history and location. However, whether a single ideal approach and timing for CP intervention exists remains debated. We appraise and critique these areas with priority for emerging basic results and innovation.

Keywords: benign tumor; craniopharyngioma; current management; literature review; skull base cancer.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Craniopharyngioma* / pathology
  • Craniopharyngioma* / surgery
  • Humans
  • Pituitary Neoplasms* / pathology
  • Pituitary Neoplasms* / surgery