Oncologist-approved cancer information from the American Society of Clinical Oncology
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Craniopharyngioma - Childhood

This section has been reviewed and approved by the Cancer.Net Editorial Board, 3/2013
Latest Research

ON THIS PAGE: You will read about the scientific research being done now to learn more about craniopharyngioma and how to treat it. To see other pages in this guide, use the colored boxes on the right side of your screen, or click “Next” at the bottom.

For craniopharyngioma, due to the general success of surgery and radiation therapy, research focuses on treatments for recurrent (tumors that have grown back) or unresectable (unable to be completely removed by surgery) craniopharyngioma. Always talk with your child’s doctor about the diagnostic and treatment options best for your child.

Different methods of giving drugs.  Interferon given by injection under the skin, and chemotherapy or interferon (Roferon-A, Intron A, Alferon) injected directly into the tumor cyst (if there is a large one), are being looked at to treat some patients with craniopharyngioma. Interferon is a type of biologic therapy. Biologic therapy is designed to target areas on the tumor cells or the tumor blood vessels to try to stop the tumor from growing. Interferon is also part of the body’s natural immune system.

Improved methods of giving radiation therapy. For patients with a tumor that cannot be completely removed during surgery, doctors are studying new techniques for giving radiation therapy. The use of three-dimensional radiation techniques allows high doses of radiation therapy to be delivered to the tumor with lower doses to healthy brain tissue. These methods may help reduce damage to healthy tissues.

Looking for More about the Latest Research?

If you would like additional information about the latest areas of research regarding craniopharyngioma, explore these related items that take you outside of this guide:

  • To find clinical trials specific to your diagnosis, talk with your child’s doctor or search online clinical trial databases now.
  • Visit ASCO’s CancerProgress.Net website to learn more about the historical pace of research for childhood tumors and cancers. Please note this link takes you to a separate ASCO website. 

To continue reading this guide, choose “Next” (below, right) to see a section about coping with the side effects of the disease or its treatment. Or, use the colored boxes located on the right side of your screen to visit any section.

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