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Medulloblastomas

By

Steven A. Goldman

, MD, PhD, University of Rochester Medical Center

Last full review/revision Jan 2021| Content last modified Jan 2021
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Medulloblastomas are primitive neuroectodermal tumors that commonly manifest as a posterior fossa mass and obstructive hydrocephalus.

At least four types of molecularly and prognostically distinct medulloblastomas have been identified based on molecular markers. Prognosis varies by type.

Medulloblastomas can disseminate throughout the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) and should to be staged using lumbar puncture and craniospinal imaging to determine the extent of the spread.

Treatment of medulloblastomas depends on the medulloblastoma genotype, patient age, and extent of the spread. Typically in children, maximal safe resection is followed by multidrug chemotherapy in an attempt to avoid radiation therapy. In adults, surgery is followed by radiation therapy; some data suggest that adding chemotherapy may improve survival.

With treatment, survival rates are ≥ 50% at 5 years and about 40% at 10 years.

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Numbness is defined as loss of sensation, either partial or complete. Numbness can occur from dysfunction anywhere along the pathway from the sensory receptors up to the cerebral cortex. A patient with dysfunction in which of the following CNS areas is most likely to present with facial and body numbness on the same side, plus an inability to perceive multiple stimuli of the same type simultaneously?
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