Craniopharyngioma Medication

Updated: Dec 11, 2017
  • Author: George I Jallo, MD; Chief Editor: Tarakad S Ramachandran, MBBS, MBA, MPH, FAAN, FACP, FAHA, FRCP, FRCPC, FRS, LRCP, MRCP, MRCS  more...
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Medication

Medication Summary

Agents/modalities used in the treatment of craniopharyngiomas include (1) radiation therapy applied as proton beam radiation or external fractionated radiation, stereotactic radiation, or brachytherapy (intracavitary irradiation), [31, 32, 33, 34, 35]  (2) bleomycin for local intracystic chemotherapy, [36, 37, 38]  and (3) possible new targeted treatments that arise from the vast ongoing molecular research

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Antineoplastics, Antibiotic

Class Summary

In combination with other drugs, chemotherapeutic agents are used frequently and systemically against epithelial tumors. In the early 1970s, bleomycin was found to have encouraging results in controlling craniopharyngioma tissue in cultures. Intracavitary bleomycin reduces cyst size and toughens and thickens the cyst wall, thereby facilitating surgical excision of a cyst membrane that otherwise might fragment at the time of open craniotomy. However, reports of intracystic bleomycin use are limited. Other agents like interferon alpha are being tested.

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Radiation

Class Summary

Radiation creates free oxygen ions that damage cellular DNA. Cellular ability to repair DNA is lower for tumor cells than normal cells and subsequently, with each mitosis, a higher cumulative effect in tumor cells results in apoptosis. Several radiation modalities are being used for the treatment of craniopharyngioma, including proton beam treatment, external fractionated radiotherapy, stereotactic raditherapy, and more.

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