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Diseases

Genetic and Rare Diseases Information Center (GARD)

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Myxopapillary ependymoma


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Your Question

My wife was diagnosed by MRI with probable myxopapillary ependymoma. The specialist is recommending surgery; are there any other treatment options?

Our Answer

We have identified the following information that we hope you find helpful. If you still have questions, please contact us.

How might myxopapillary ependymoma be treated?

Standard treatment of myxopapillary ependymoma is surgery with the aim of removing as much of the tumor as possible. This tumor type may be cured if all of the tumor is removed during surgery, which is referred to as total resection, and there is usually a favorable outlook in these cases. However, surgery is typically less curative in tumors that are large, multifocal or extend outside the spinal cord. These tumors have the potential to regrow after the initial diagnosis and surgery (recur), particularly in individuals diagnosed as children.[1] Following surgery, radiation therapy may be considered to destroy any cancer cells that could remain in the body.  The use of chemotherapy as another treatment of myxopapillary ependymoma remains controversial; chemotherapy has been widely used in pediatric individuals due to more aggressive disease.[2] The usefulness of additional therapies following surgery is unclear for the subset of individuals with recurrence or in individuals in whom total resection cannot be achieved.[1]
Last updated: 4/13/2015

References
See Disclaimer regarding information on this site. Some links on this page may take you to organizations outside of the National Institutes of Health.