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Treating pineoblastomas

After a pineoblastoma is diagnosed through scans and/or a biopsy, your MDT will consider the best treatment option for you.

Surgery

Surgery to reduce the size of the tumour or remove it completely is an essential part of brain tumour treatment in general. However, due to the position of pineoblastomas deep within the brain, surgery may not always be a viable option as there could be a risk of damaging critical areas of the brain. Even if doctors deem that surgery is possible for a pineoblastoma, in most occasions it does not result in complete resection. This is because pineoblastomas, grade four tumours, may have already invaded other, difficult to reach parts of the brain or spine.

Due to the swelling and pressure on the brain, you may have surgery to drain the buildup of fluid. Some neurosurgery centres offer a minimally invasive procedure called endoscopic third ventriculostomy which which will not require surgery. Steroids may also be prescribed to manage swelling associated with hydrocephalus.

Radiotherapy

Radiotherapy is the gold standard of treatment for pineoblastomas. Depending on factors such as whether cancerous cells have spread to other parts of the brain, your MDT will decide the type of radiotherapy you will have and at which dose. Pineoblastomas may also be treated with chemotherapy.

If you have further questions, need to clarify any of the information on this page, or want to find out more about research and clinical trials, please contact our team:

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Our free Brain Tumour Information Pack has been designed to help you feel confident when discussing treatment and care options with your medical team.