PNET

PNET

PNET (primitive neuroectodermal tumor) is a name used for tumors which appear identical under the microscope to medulloblastoma, but occur primarily in the cerebrum. PNET is used by some to refer to tumors such as the pineoblastoma, polar spongioblastoma, medulloblastoma, and medulloepithelioma. Except for medulloblastoma, these are all very rare tumors.

PNETs contain underdeveloped brain cells, are highly malignant, and tend to spread throughout the central nervous system. These tumors often contain areas of dead tumor cells (necrosis) and cysts. Fluid surrounding the tumor is not uncommon.

Location:

PNETs occur primarily in the cerebrum, but can spread to other parts of the brain and spine.

Symptoms:

Because they tend to be large tumors, symptoms of increased pressure in the brain and mass effect are often present. Seizures are common.

Treatment:

Surgery is the standard initial treatment for these tumors. Because of their large size, tendency to spread, and extensive blood supply, total removal is rarely possible.

In children three years and older and in young adults, radiation therapy to the entire brain and spine usually follows surgery. Very young children are usually not treated with chemotherapy until they are older.

Incidence:

PNETs most often occur in very young children.

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Mindee Plugues

Member

Mindee J. Plugues, of Los Angeles, CA, is vice president, marketing for the Applebee’s brand and brings skills including brand strategy, executive leadership, and marketing to the board. Plugues has been an ABTA donor since April 2001, following her father’s passing from GBM. She is also a former member of the ABTA endurance program, Team Breakthrough.

Bob Kruchten

Member

Bob Kruchten, of Mount Prospect, IL, is a sales manager at Extreme Reach, a leading advertising technology company. He has strong skills in communications and fundraising, and has been advocating for the ABTA for 19 years in tribute to his best friend, Paul Fabbri, who lost his 10-year battle with GBM in 1998. Kruchten accepted the ABTA’s Joel A. Gingras Jr. Award in 2015 on behalf of the Paul Fabbri Memorial Fund.