What is a pilocytic astrocytoma?
Pilocytic astrocytoma (PA) is a slow-growing type of primary central nervous system (CNS) tumor. A tumor is an abnormal growth of cells. The brain and spinal cord make up the CNS. This means that the tumor starts in the brain or spinal cord rather than starting somewhere else in the body and spreading to the brain.
How common is juvenile pilocytic astrocytoma?
JPAs are the most common cerebellar tumor in children. Astrocytomas as a whole are the most common brain tumor of childhood accounting for more than half of all primary childhood tumors of the central nervous system. The incidence rate is estimated at 14 new cases per million in children younger than 15 years of age.
What is the prognosis for pilocytic astrocytoma?
Outlook. In general, the prognosis is excellent. If the tumor is completely removed by surgery, the chances of being “cured” are very high. Pilocytic astrocytoma has a five-year survival rate of over 96 percent in children and young adults, which is one of the highest survival rates of any brain tumor.
What is a juvenile pilocytic astrocytoma?
A juvenile pilocytic astrocytoma (JPA) is a slow-growing brain tumor that develops — usually in children and adolescents — from cells called astrocytes. Astrocytes are glial cells, meaning that they are a type of cell that supports nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord, so a juvenile pilocytic astrocytoma is a kind of glioma.
What is the treatment for pilocytic astrocytoma?
If the pilocytic astrocytoma is causing symptoms or a scan shows that the tumor is growing, a doctor may advise treatment. Surgery is the treatment of choice for this type of tumor. This is because total removal (resection) of the tumor is often curative.
What is the prognosis of astrocytomas of the brain?
Pilocytic astrocytomas that occur in the optic pathway or hypothalamus have a slightly less favorable prognosis. Even if surgery is successful, that child still has to have periodic MRI scans to ensure that the tumor doesn’t return.
What is the incidence of astrocytomas in children?
Astrocytomas as a whole are the most common brain tumor of childhood accounting for more than half of all primary childhood tumors of the central nervous system. The incidence rate is estimated at 14 new cases per million in children younger than 15 years of age. Most astrocytomas (approximately 80 percent) in children are low grade.