Review Volume 13, Issue 2 pp 3146—3160
Medulloblastoma in adults – reviewing the literature from a surgeon’s point of view
- 1 Department of Neurosurgery, Paracelsus Medical University, Nuremberg 90471, Bavaria, Germany
- 2 Department of Neuropathology, Paracelsus Medical University, Nuremberg 90471, Bavaria, Germany
- 3 Department of Oncology, Paracelsus Medical University, Nuremberg 90471, Bavaria, Germany
Received: August 3, 2020 Accepted: January 4, 2021 Published: January 26, 2021https://doi.org/10.18632/aging.202568
How to Cite
Copyright: © 2021 Eibl et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
Medulloblastoma is a common primary brain tumor in children but it is a rare cancer in adult patients. We reviewed the literature, searching PubMed for articles on this rare tumor entity, with a focus on tumor biology, advanced neurosurgical opportunities for safe tumor resection, and multimodal treatment options. Adult medulloblastoma occurs at a rate of 0.6 per one million people per year. There is a slight disparity between male and female patients, and patients with a fair skin tone are more likely to have a medulloblastoma. Patients present with cerebellar signs and signs of elevated intracranial pressure. Diagnostic efforts should consist of cerebral MRI and MRI of the spinal axis. Cerebrospinal fluid should be investigated to look for tumor dissemination. Medulloblastoma tumors can be classified as classic, desmoplastic, anaplastic, and large cell, according to the WHO tumor classification. Molecular subgroups include WNT, SHH, group 3, and group 4 tumors. Further molecular analyses suggest that there are several subgroups within the four existing subgroups, with significant differences in patient age, frequency of metastatic spread, and patient survival. As molecular markers have started to play an increasing role in determining treatment strategies and prognosis, their importance has increased rapidly. Treatment options include microsurgical tumor resection and radiotherapy and, in addition, chemotherapy that respects the tumor biology of individual patients offers targeted therapeutic approaches. For neurosurgeons, intraoperative imaging and tumor fluorescence may improve resection rates. Disseminated disease, residual tumor after surgery, lower radiation dose, and low Karnofsky performance status are all suggestive of a poor outcome. Extraneural spread occurs only in very few cases. The reported 5-year-survival rates range between 60% and 80% for all adult medulloblastoma patients.