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Definition of «Ependymoma»


Ependymoma: A type of brain tumor derived from the cells that line the cavities within the ventricles of the brain and the central canal of the spinal cord. Because cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) normally flows through the cerebral ventricles and the central canal of the spinal cord, blockage due to an ependymoma can cause build-up of fluid, pressure on the brain, and hydrocephalus with the associated symptoms of headaches, nausea and vomiting.

Next to leukemia and lymphoma, brain tumors are the most common type of cancer in children. Ependymomas account for about 10% of childhood brain tumors. About 60% of intracranial ependymomas in children are diagnosed by age 5.

Treatment depends upon the tumor's location and metastatic spread. (Ependymomas may metastasize within the central nervous system.) In general, the treatment of an ependymoma is surgical resection. When complete resection is not possible, radiation therapy and/or chemotherapy may be done.

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