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Overview of the management of central nervous system tumors in children

Ching Lau, MD, PhD
Section Editor
David G Poplack, MD
Deputy Editor
Carrie Armsby, MD, MPH


Primary malignant central nervous system (CNS) tumors are the second most common childhood malignancies, after hematologic malignancies, and are the most common pediatric solid organ tumor (table 1) [1]. It is the leading cause of death from childhood cancer, surpassing the mortality rate of acute lymphoblastic leukemia [2]. Although advances in surgical intervention, radiotherapy, and chemotherapy have improved the survival rates in children with CNS tumors, mortality and morbidity associated with these disorders persist, especially with malignant brain tumors.

A general overview of the management and prognosis of CNS tumors in children will be reviewed here. The management and prognosis of the following specific CNS tumors that occur in children are discussed separately.

Low-grade gliomas (see "Management of low-grade glioma")

Malignant gliomas (see "Clinical manifestations and initial surgical approach to patients with high-grade gliomas")

Brainstem glioma (see "Diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma" and "Focal brainstem glioma")

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Literature review current through: Oct 2017. | This topic last updated: Feb 18, 2016.
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