Embryonal tumors can begin in embryonic (fetal) cells that remain in the brain after birth. They tend to spread through the cerebrospinal fluid to other parts of the brain and spinal cord.
About embryonal tumors
Embryonal tumors most often happen in babies and young children. But this type of pediatric brain tumor can happen at any age. There are several kinds of embryonal tumors:
- Medulloblastomas are the most common type of embryonal tumors. They are fast-growing tumors that form in brain cells in the cerebellum at the lower back part of the brain. The cerebellum controls movement, balance, and posture. Medulloblastomas sometimes spread to the bone, bone marrow, lung, or other parts of the body, but this is rare.
- CNS neuroblastomas are a very rare type of neuroblastoma that form in the nerve tissue of the cerebrum or the layers of tissue that cover the brain and spinal cord. They may be large and spread to other parts of the brain or spinal cord.
- Atypical teratoid/rhabdoid tumors (AT/RT) are very rare, fast-growing tumors. They usually occur in the brain and spinal cord in children three years and younger but can occur in older children and adults. About half of these tumors form in the cerebellum or brain stem, but they can also be found in other parts of the central nervous system.