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Minerva Pediatrica 2013 December;65(6):673-6


language: Italian

Craniopharyngioma in children: importance of a multidisciplinary approach and therapeutic strategies in the treatment of relapsing

Fiorito C. M. M. 1, Giglione E. 1, Bellone S. 1, Peretta P. 2, Bertin D. 3, Basso M. E. 3, Bona G. 1

1 Clinica Pediatrica Università del Piemonte Orientale “A. Avogadro” Novara, Italia; 2 Divisione di Neurochirurgia dell’OIRM Torino, Italia; 3 S.C. Oncoematologia e Centro Trapianti dell’OIRM, Torino, Italia


The craniopharyngioma is a benign intracranial nonglial tumor derived from a malformation of the embryonic tissue. Represents approximately 6-9% of brain tumors in children. It grows close to the optic nerve, hypothalamus and pituitary. The most frequent histological variety in children is adamantinomatous. The initial symptoms of intracranial hypertension is headache and nausea, followed by visual disturbances, impaired hormonal changes such as the secretion of GH, gonadotropins, TSH and ACTH and central diabetes insipidus. We present the clinical case of MD, 5yrs at age, which shows signs of intracranial hypertension syndrome: neuroradiological findings raise the diagnosis of adamantinomatous craniopharyngioma for which the child underwent to sub-total surgical removal of the lesion and radiosurgery treatment. During the disease develops visual impairment, and secondary diabetes insipidus, hypothyroidism hipocotisolism that takes therapy with desmopressin (Minirin), Cortone acetate and L-tiroxine. For the failure of previous therapies, the child has performed chemotherapy with cisplatin (30 mg/sqm/day) and Etoposide (150 mg/mq/day). A year after the end of the last cycle of chemotherapy was detected new progression of the lesion with the appearance of worsening headache and vomiting in the upright position. TC notes the expansion of the third ventricle and the patient undergoes surgery craniotomy. This clinical case underlines the difficulties in treatment of recurrent craniopharyngioma in situations where the anatomical location do not permit aggressive radical surgery. Anyway, new studies are needed to evaluate the effectiveness of systemic chemotherapy as a method of experimental treatment that could reduce the progression of disease.

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