Advances in the Management of Brain Tumors in Infants
Concezio Di Rocco.
The last two decades have been crucial for neurooncology due to the enormous progress in the base research and in the medical technology. Such a continuous development has significantly improved the knowledge on the genetics and molecular biology of brain tumors, thus allowing to better define their prognosis and to find new therapeutic targets. Furthermore, it has provided sophisticated diagnostic and therapeutic tools that have radically changed the behavior of neurosurgeons, neurooncologists, and radiotherapists with regards to these neoplasms. Once considered rare and poorly treatable, infantile brain tumors (IBTs) are currently more and more diagnosed and benefit of the aforementioned progresses so that their prognosis has become quite similar to that of the older ages. The aim of the present paper is to review the factors that favored these advances and to analyze the main aspects concerning IBTs, namely: Current information on epidemiology and etiology; - Advances in the neuroimaging; - Changes in the surgical attitude; - Development of ad hoc chemotherapic and radiotherapic protocols; - The role of pathology and molecular biology in the prognosis; - Outcome; - Future directions.
Keywords: Infantile brain tumor, intracranial neoplasm, neuroimaging, molecular biology
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