These 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 pineal region may or may not involve the pineal gland. True pineal cell tumors—pineocytoma, pineoblastoma, and mixed pineal tumors—are covered on this page.
Tumors that may occur in this region but are not necessarily pineal tumors include: germinoma, non-germinoma (eg, teratoma, endodermal sinus tumor, embryonal cell tumor, choriocarcinoma, and mixed tumors), meningioma, astrocytoma, ganglioglioma, and dermoid cysts. Information on these particular tumors can be found elsewhere on this site.
There are three types of pineal tumors:
- Pineocytoma: Slow-growing, grade II tumor.
- Pineoblastoma: More aggressive, grade IV, malignant tumor. A grade III intermediate form has also been described.
- Mixed Pineal Tumor: Contains a combination of cell types.