Primary Brain Tumors

Primary Brain Tumors

Primary central nervous system (CNS) tumors begin in the brain or spinal cord.

There are more than 120 different types of primary brain and CNS tumors. The ABTA provides educational information for the most common primary brain and CNS tumors according to data collected by Central Brain Tumor Registry of the United States (CBTRUS).

Acoustic Neuroma

Acoustic neuroma (also called vestibular schwannoma) is a benign (non-cancerous), slow-growing tumor of the 8th cranial nerve (also known as the acoustic or vestibulocochlear nerve) which is responsible for hearing. Location Acoustic neuromas are usually

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Astrocytoma (Adult-type)

Astrocytomas are tumors that arise from astrocytes—star-shaped cells that make up the “glue-like” or supportive tissue of the brain. They are slow growing and tend to invade surrounding tissue and thus are known as “diffuse.”

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Chondrosarcoma

Chondroma is a rare, benign (non-cancerous) tumor that tends to arise at the base of the skull, especially in the area near the pituitary gland. These tumors are generally very slow-growing and may be present

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Choroid Plexus

These tumors arise from brain tissue called the “choroid plexus,” the portion of the brain that makes the fluid which flows around the brain and spine. These tumors come in three “grades” based on how

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Craniopharyngioma

A craniopharyngioma is a benign (non-cancerous) tumor arising from small nests of cells near the pituitary stalk. Crangiopharyngiomas are localized tumors and become large before they are diagnosed. How malignant they are and how quickly

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Cysts

Just like a cyst anywhere else in your body, a cyst in the brain is a sphere filled with fluid—much like a balloon filled with water. They may contain fluid, blood, tissue, pus, or tumor

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Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma (DIPG)

Diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma, referred to as DIPG, is a malignant (cancerous) glial tumor of the brainstem that occurs almost exclusively in childhood. Unfortunately, despite decades of research, prognosis for this tumor remains poor. Location

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Ependymoma

Ependymomas arise from the ependymal cells that line the ventricles of the brain and the center of the spinal cord. They are soft, grayish, or red tumors which may contain cysts or mineral calcifications. These tumors

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Germ Cell Tumor

As the name implies, these tumors arise from various “germ cells” found in the brain. They can be either benign (non-cancerous) or malignant (cancerous). Germ cell tumors include the germinoma, the teratoma, the more aggressive

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Glioblastoma (GBM)

Glioblastomas (also called GBM) are malignant (cancerous) grade 4 tumors, where a large portion of tumor cells are reproducing and dividing at any given time. They are nourished by an ample and abnormal tumor vessel

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Glioma

“Glioma” is a general term used to describe any tumor that arises from the supportive (“gluey”) tissue of the brain. This tissue, called “glia,” helps to keep the neurons in place and functioning well. There

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Hemangioma

A hemangioma is an abnormal buildup of blood vessels in the skin or internal organs. Two types of hemangiomas are discussed here: Hemangioblastoma: These tumors are benign (non-cancerous), slow-growing, and well defined. They arise from cells

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Lipoma

Lipomas are rare, benign (non-cancerous) tumors composed of fatty tissue. They are sometimes associated with other congenital abnormalities of the nervous system. Lipomas vary in size. Single or multiple tumors may be present. Location Lipomas

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Lymphoma

Lymphoma is a cancer that arises from the cells of the lymphatic system. In the brain, this type of cancer is called Primary CNS Lymphoma (PCNSL). Location Lymphoma occurs most often in the cerebral hemisphere,

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Medulloblastoma

Medulloblastoma is the most common malignant (cancerous) central nervous system tumor of childhood. It is a fast-growing, high-grade tumor that may spread throughout the central nervous system. Medulloblastoma can be classified into 4 subgroups and

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Meningioma

Meningiomas are often benign (non-cancerous) tumors arising from the coverings of the brain and spinal cord. They represent about one-third of all primary brain tumors and occur most frequently in middle-aged women. Meningiomas usually grow

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Neurofibroma

Neurofibromas are tumors of the nerve fibers. The term neurofibromatosis refers to two different genetic diseases characterized by skin abnormalities and nervous system tumors: Neurofibromatosis type 1: Also called NF-1 or Von Recklinghausen’s disease. Neurofibromatosis type

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Neuronal & Mixed Neuronal-Glial Tumors

Neuronal and Mixed Neuronal-Glial Tumors are rare and benign (non-cancerous) tumors that come from ganglion-type cells, which are groups of nerve cells. They are are small and slow-growing and have distinct margins. Metastasis and malignancy

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Oligodendroglioma

Oligodendrogliomas come from oligodendrocytes, one of the types of cells that make up the supportive, or glial, tissue of the brain. Oligodendrogliomas are generally soft, grayish-pink tumors. They often contain mineral deposits (called calcifications), areas

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Pediatric High-Grade Gliomas (HGG)

High-grade gliomas (HGG) are a group of aggressive brain and spinal cord tumors that occur in both children and adults and include such diagnoses as glioblastoma and anaplastic astrocytoma. These tumors characteristically grow (infiltrate) into

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Pediatric Low-Grade Gliomas (LGG)

Pediatric low-grade gliomas (LGG) are a group of slow-growing tumors that can occur in numerous locations throughout the brain and spinal cord. They are the most common central nervous system tumors in children and adolescents.

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Pineal Tumors

Pineal tumors originate from normal cells in the pineal gland. The pineal gland is located in the center of the brain and is involved in the secretion of specific hormones. Tumor types occurring in the

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Pituitary Tumors

The pituitary gland is termed the “master gland” as it plays a key role in controlling the production of hormones from other organs such as thyroid hormone, cortisol, estrogens, and testosterone. It also produces its

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Primitive Neuroectodermal Tumor (PNET)

Primitive Neuroectodermal Tumor, also referred to as PNET, is a category of malignant (cancerous) tumors which appear similar under the microscope to medulloblastoma but occur primarily in the top part of the brain (the cerebrum).

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