• Joshua D. Palmer
  • Andrew Song
  • Wenyin ShiEmail author


Craniopharyngiomas are rare benign epithelial tumors arising along the path of the craniopharyngeal duct. There are two subtypes: adamantinomatous and papillary. There is a bimodal age distribution, with the incidence in childhood onset at 5–14 years old and adult onset at 50–74 years old. Clinical manifestations are often related to increased intracranial pressure, visual disturbances, and hypothalamic-pituitary deficiencies. Surgical resection is the treatment of choice for tumors with favorable location. Limited hypothalamic sparing surgery followed by radiation is the treatment of choice for tumors with an unfavorable location. Radiation treatment is often indicated in patients with subtotal resections. Patients with a gross total resection may be safely observed. Radiosurgery may be used for patients with small residual tumors and away from the optic apparatus. Radiation treatment is effective in reducing both recurrence and progression. The overall survival is quite favorable. However, there is notable risk for late-onset morbidities, including hypothalamic-pituitary dysfunction, impairment of quality of life, neurocognition, and/or psychosocial functioning. Multidisciplinary care is critical for optimal management of craniopharyngiomas and long-term ongoing management of treatment morbidities.


Craniopharyngioma External beam radiation Stereotactic radiosurgery IMRT Central nervous system neoplasm Morbidity Neurocognition Hypothalamic obesity 


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© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Radiation OncologyThe James Cancer Hospital and Solove Research Institute at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical CenterColumbusUSA
  2. 2.Sidney Kimmel Cancer CenterThomas Jefferson UniversityPhiladelphiaUSA

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