Primitive Neuroectodermal (PNET)

Primitive Neuroectodermal (PNET)

There are several tumor types in this category. Names of specific PNETs may be based on the tumor location. Examples include pineoblastoma (located in the pineal region, a form of pineal tumor), medulloblastoma (located in the cerebellum), and cerebral cortex PNET (located in the cerebral cortex).

Characteristics

  • Highly aggressive and tend to spread throughout the CNS
  • Grow from undeveloped brain cells
  • Commonly include cysts and calcification (calcium deposits)
  • Tend to be large

Symptoms

  • Can vary depending on location of tumor
  • Weakness or change in sensation on one side of the body
  • Morning headache or headache that goes away after vomiting
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Seizures
  • Unusual sleepiness or lethargy
  • Behavioral or personality changes
  • Unexplained weight loss or weight gain

Treatment

Surgery is the standard treatment when possible. In adults and children over three years of age, surgery may be followed by radiation therapy to the whole brain and spinal cord, and chemotherapy. In children under three years of age, surgery may be followed by chemotherapy or a clinical trial of chemotherapy to delay or reduce the need for radiation therapy.

Learn more about other tumor types.

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