What is Ependymoma?

Ependymoma is a type of glioma (a brain tumour arising from glial cells) most commonly found in children. The majority of childhood ependymomas (around 60-70%) are located in the 'posterior fossa' which is a small space in the lower part of the skull, containing the hindbrain.

Ependymomas are the third most common type childhood brain tumour. They arise from ependymal cells that are found lining the ventricles of the brain (the fluid-filled spaces in and around the brain). Two-thirds of the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) surrounding, protecting and nourishing the brain is produced by ependymal cells.

Types of ependymoma

Like most other types of brain tumour, the World Health Organization (WHO) classifies ependymal tumours into subtypes using a numerical grading scale. The grade is determined by how the tumour cells look under a microscope. The lower the grade of the tumour, the slower it tends to grow.

Myxopapillary Ependymomas (Grade 1)

This type of ependymoma is relatively uncommon in children and tends to occur in the spinal column rather than the brain.

Subependymomas (Grade 1)

Also relatively uncommon in children. They tend to occur near a ventricle in the brain

Ependymomas (Grade 2)

Ependymomas are the most common type of ependymal tumour and usually appear close to, or within, the ventricular system in the posterior fossa.

Anaplastic Ependymoma (Grade 3)

Anaplastic ependymomas are the fastest growing type of ependymal tumour and also commonly originate in the posterior fossa.

Get your free brain tumour information pack

Our FREE Brain Tumour Information Pack has been designed to help you through this difficult time, to guide you through the healthcare system, answer your questions, and reassure you that you're not alone so that you feel confident when discussing treatment and care options with your medical team.