Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

Medulloblastoma Treatment

Treatment of a medulloblastoma depends on the tumor size, location of the tumor, and whether the tumor has spread to other locations (stage). Treatment usually includes some combination of surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation therapy.

Treatment options for medulloblastoma include:

Medulloblastoma Questions For Doctor

The following are some important questions to ask before and after treatment for medulloblastoma.

Questions to ask before treatment:

  • What are my treatment options?
    • Is surgery an option for me?
  • What are the risks associated with treatment?
  • Do I need to stay in the hospital?
    • How long will I be in the hospital?
  • What are the complications I should watch for?
  • How long will I be on medication?
  • What are the potential side effects of my medication?
  • Does my medication interact with nonprescription medicines or supplements?
  • Should I take my medication with food?

Questions to ask after treatment:
  • Do I need to change my diet?
  • Are there any medications or supplements I should avoid?
  • When can I resume my normal activities?
  • When can I return to work?
  • Do I need a special exercise program?
  • Will I need physical therapy?
  • Will I need occupational therapy?
  • What else can I do to reduce my risk for complications?
  • Are my children at risk for this condition?
  • How often will I need to see my doctor for checkups?
  • What local support and other resources are available?

Medulloblastoma Radiation Therapy

Radiation therapy for medulloblastoma uses a highly-focused dose of radiation directed at a small area of the brain tumor. It requires specialized scanning equipment, and 3-dimensional imaging. Another name for this method is a gamma knife.

Gamma knife devices allow doctors to deliver a precise dose of radiation to the tumor, with a minimal effect on surrounding brain tissue.

Complications of radiation therapy may include:

Medulloblastoma Specialist

Physicians from the following specialties evaluate and treat medulloblastoma:

Medulloblastoma Surgery

Whenever possible, treatment should remove the entire cancer. Following surgery, radiotherapy and/or chemotherapy may be used to decrease the risk of recurrence.

Some tumors are deeply embedded in the brain and surrounded by vital structures or blood vessels. This makes many tumors impossible to remove without damaging other parts of the brain.

Some medulloblastomas may require the placement of a ventriculoperitoneal (VP) shunt to correct hydrocephalus. A VP shunt is a tube that drains extra fluid from around the brain, into the abdominal cavity. The tube runs from the head to the abdomen, under the skin.

Continue to Medulloblastoma Home Care

Last Updated: Dec 20, 2010 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
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PubMed Medulloblastoma References
  1. Brandes AA, Paris MK. Review of the prognostic factors in medulloblastoma of children and adults. Crit Rev Oncol Hematol. 2004 May;50(2):121-8. [15157661]
  2. Calaminus G, Janssen G, Lenard HG, Bock WJ, Reifenberger G, Schmitt G, Gobel U. Combined therapy of medulloblastoma: review of 46 patients treated in a single institution. Neuropediatrics. 1998 Apr;29(2):102-7. [9638665]
  3. Salvati M, Cervoni L. Medulloblastoma in late adults. Case report and critical review of the literature. J Neurosurg Sci. 2000 Dec;44(4):230-2; discussion 232-3. [11327293]
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