Kirstie Lithgow, Ute Pohl, Niki Karavitaki

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingEntry for encyclopedia/dictionary


Craniopharyngiomas are rare intracranial tumors that mainly arise in the sellar/parasellar (particularly suprasellar) region. They present in both children and adults with a wide range of clinical manifestations. Histologically, they are benign tumors with distinct adamantinomatous and papillary subtypes. Beta-catenin gene mutations have been identified in the adamantinomatous subtype and activating mutations in BRAF (V600E) in the papillary variant, opening further avenues in our understanding of their pathogenesis. Despite their benign classification, management is challenging due to unpredictable growth and the involvement of adjacent critical structures particularly for vision and hypothalamo-pituitary function. Surgery with or without external irradiation currently represents the mainstay of therapy for most patients; however, the optimal protocol for the management of these tumors has not yet been established. Further management options include intracystic irradiation or bleomycin, stereotactic radiosurgery, systemic chemotherapy, or targeted BRAF inhibitors (for the papillary subtype); however, the outcomes of these approaches have not yet been validated with large scale clinical trials. Following treatment, patients face a high burden of morbidity due to visual, endocrine, hypothalamic, and neuropsychological dysfunction, and long-term mortality rates are substantially elevated compared with the general population.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationEndoText
EditorsKR Feingold, B Anawalt, A Boyce
Place of PublicationSouth Dartmouth (MA)
Number of pages35
Publication statusPublished - 2019


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