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Ependymomas are brain tumors that form from ependymal cells, which line fluid-filled spaces and passageways of the brain and spinal cord.

About ependymomas

Ependymomas are brain tumors that form in the ependymal cells in the brain and spinal cord. These cells line the passageways where cerebrospinal fluid, the fluid that nourishes your brain, flows.

Ependymoma tumors can form anywhere in the fluid-filled ventricles and passageways in the brain and spinal cord, but most form in the fourth ventricle and affect the cerebellum and brainstem.

There are different types of ependymomas with different grades. The grade of tumor describes how abnormal the cancer cells look under a microscope and how quickly the tumor is likely to grow and spread.

If the tumor cells look similar to healthy tissue and has different cell groupings, it is called “differentiated” or a “low-grade tumor.” If the tumor’s tissue looks very different from healthy tissue, it is called “poorly differentiated” or a “high-grade tumor.”

High-grade tumors tend to grow and spread more quickly than low-grade tumors. They may need treatment right away and treatment that is more aggressive.

Knowing whether a pediatric brain tumor is low-grade or high-grade may help guide your child’s treatment.


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