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Your QuestionMy wife was diagnosed by MRI with probable myxopapillary ependymoma. The specialist is recommending surgery; are there any other treatment options?
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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. 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. 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.
Last updated: 4/13/2015
- Valerie N Barton et al. Unique Molecular Characteristics of Pediatric Myxopapillary Ependymoma. Brain Pathology. May 2010; 20(3):560-570. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2871180/?tool=pubmed. Accessed 4/7/2011.
- Shonka NA. Targets for therapy in ependymoma. Targeted Oncology. March 29, 2011; Epub:http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21445635. Accessed 4/7/2011.