Pleuropulmonary Blastoma - Childhood: Overview

This section has been reviewed and approved by the Cancer.Net Editorial Board, 10/2013

ON THIS PAGE: You will find some basic information about this disease and the parts of the body it may affect. This is the first page of Cancer.Net’s Guide to Pleuropulmonary Blastoma. To see other pages, use the menu on the side of your screen. Think of that menu as a roadmap to this full guide.

Pleuropulmonary blastoma (PPB) is a rare type of childhood lung tumor that begins in the chest either in the lung tissue (pulmonary) or in the tissue that covers the lungs and the inside of the chest cavity (pleura). A tumor begins when normal cells change and grow uncontrollably. A tumor can be benign (noncancerous) or malignant (cancerous, meaning it can spread to other parts of the body). PPB is most commonly found on the right side of the chest.

There are four types of PPB:

  • Type I is made up of cysts (air pockets) with early evidence that it is cancerous, but it is difficult to find and diagnose in this early form. It occurs in very young children (on average, 10 months old) and has a better chance of being successfully treated than Types II and III (see below).
  • Type Ir (the “r” stands for regressing) is similar to Type I, but it does not have cancerous cells.
  • Types II and III generally occur in children ages three to four. Types II and III are cancerous tumors and require intensive chemotherapy.

More details on the different types of PPB are explained in other sections.

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