What is pineoblastoma?

A pineoblastoma is a fast-growing tumor that develops in the pineal gland. The pineal gland is a tiny organ located deep within the brain and is responsible for secreting melatonin, which regulates sleep.


Pineoblastoma is more aggressive than other pineal gland tumors.


The fast growth of this tumor can cause hydrocephalus, a condition in which cerebrospinal fluid builds up in the brain.


Pineoblastomas spread through cerebrospinal fluid in 10-20% of all cases.


What causes pineoblastoma? Who is affected?

The cause of a pineoblastoma is unknown, though genetic abnormalities may increase one’s risk of developing this type of tumor.


Pineal gland tumors represent less than 1% of all primary brain tumors.


Pineoblastomas account for less than half of all pineal gland tumors.


Pineoblastomas usually occur in adults between the ages of 20 and 40.


It is equally common between males and females.


What are the symptoms of a pineoblastoma?

Most symptoms are related to the blockage of cerebrospinal fluid by the tumor. These symptoms include nausea, vomiting, headaches, double vision, and eye movement problems.


How is pineoblastoma treated?

Treatment for a pineoblastoma focuses on removing the tumor though surgical removal as deemed safe.


Radiation therapy to the brain focuses on reducing the size of the tumor and killing any cancer cells that remain after surgery.


Surgery may be necessary to place a shunt (tube) that will allow excess cerebrospinal fluid to drain from the skull to the abdomen to relieve pressure from the brain.