Atypical Teratoid Rhabdoid Tumor (ATRT)

Atypical Teratoid Rhabdoid Tumor (ATRT)

ATRTs are rare, high-grade tumors that occur most often in children age 3 and younger. They can appear as a large, bulky mass and tend to be fast-growing and frequently spread through the central nervous system.


About half of ATRTs are found in the cerebellum or brain stem. However, they may appear anywhere in the brain or spinal cord.


Symptoms depend on the age of the patient, as well as the size and location of the tumor. They may include: morning headache or headache that goes away after vomiting, nausea and vomiting, unusual sleepiness or change in activity level, loss of balance, lack of coordination, or trouble walking, and increased head size (in infants).


Treatment generally involves surgery to remove the tumor followed by chemotherapy. Radiation may be considered depending on the age of the patient and whether the tumor has recurred.


ATRTs are rare. They typically occur in children age 3 and younger.


The ABTA YouTube Channel provides educational videos about tumor types, treatments, and support strategies for newly diagnosed, survivors and caregivers.