Updates on Management of Adult Medulloblastoma

  • Nazanin Majd
  • Marta Penas-PradoEmail author
Neuro-oncology (GJ Lesser, Section Editor)
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Topical Collection on Neuro-oncology

Opinion statement

Medulloblastoma (MB) is a malignant embryonal tumor of the posterior fossa and is the most common type of brain cancer in pediatric patients. In contrast, adult MB is very rare with an incidence of 0.6 per million per year and mostly affects young adults below the age of 40. Recent molecular analyses of pediatric and adult MB have classified these tumors into at least four individual molecular subgroups (SHH, WNT, group 3, and group 4) with distinct demographics, histology, and prognosis. The discrete biological composition of these tumors likely explains the marked heterogeneity in responses seen to conventional therapies such as radiation and cytotoxic chemotherapies. Given the low incidence of adult MB, prospective studies are challenging and scarce, and management guidelines are largely derived from the pediatric MB patient population and retrospective data. However, adult MB is clinically and molecularly distinct from pediatric MB and a comprehensive review of published literature on adult MB highlighting their differences is warranted. Here, we review the management of adult MB focusing on recent studies exploring the effectiveness of upfront chemotherapy, clinical trials in the context of molecular subgroup-specific therapies, and the potential role of immunotherapy in treating this disease.


Adult medulloblastoma Medulloblastoma staging systems Molecular subtypes of medulloblastoma Management algorithm for medulloblastoma Craniospinal radiation Chemotherapy for treatment of medulloblastoma 


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Human and Animal Rights and Informed Consent

This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects performed by any of the authors.

References and Recommended Reading

Papers of particular interest, published recently, have been highlighted as: • Of importance •• Of major importance

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Copyright information

© This is a U.S. Government work and not under copyright protection in the US; foreign copyright protection may apply 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.MD Anderson Cancer Center Department of Neuro-oncologyHoustonUSA
  2. 2.NCI/NOB, NIHBethesdaUSA

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