, Volume 120, Issue 3, pp 305-316
Date: 23 Jul 2010

Childhood medulloblastoma: novel approaches to the classification of a heterogeneous disease

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Abstract

Increasing recognition of pediatric medulloblastoma as a heterogeneous disease, with histopathological and molecular variants that have distinct biological behaviors, will impact how the disease is classified and treated. A combination of clinicopathological evaluation and assays based on molecular subgroups of disease will allow stratification of patients into risk groups and a more tailored approach to therapy. Patients with low-risk disease could be treated with de-escalated adjuvant therapy to maximize cure while reducing long-term adverse effects, and novel therapies could be sought for patients with high-risk disease. My review encompasses a brief overview of the clinical landscape, the current World Health Organization (WHO) classification of medulloblastoma, the status of molecular subgroups, and how potential stratification schemes might impact pathologists and their practice.