Choroid Plexus Tumor

A choroid plexus tumor, or papilloma, is a rare kind of brain tumor that develops most often in children under the age of 15. It begins in the choroid plexus, or tissue in the brain’s cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) spaces. Choroid plexus tumors can cause fluid to build up in your brain, which creates pressure on your brain tissues.

Overview

Symptoms

There are three types of choroid plexus tumors. Papilloma (Grade I) is a noncancerous tumor that grows slowly and rarely spreads. Atypical papilloma (Grade II) tumors are also benign (not cancerous). They grow slowly and tend not to spread. Carcinoma (Grade III) is the rarest type of choroid plexus tumor. It’s cancerous and it often grows aggressively and spreads to other parts of your brain and spinal cord. 

Depending on the size and location of your tumor, choroid plexus tumor symptoms can include:

  • Confusion
  • Enlarged fontanelles in infants (fontanelles are the “soft spots” between the skull bones in babies)
  • Nausea or vomiting (usually most severe in the morning)
  • Personality changes
  • Seizures
  • Trouble speaking
  • Vision changes
  • Weakness or loss of sensation in your arms and legs

Diagnosis

First, your doctor will conduct a physical exam. You’ll talk about your symptoms and your doctor may order imaging tests such as an MRI, a CT scan or a lumbar puncture (spinal tap), in which a cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) sample is taken. This helps to show whether cancer cells have spread.

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Treatment Options

Your treatment will depend on the type of tumor you have, as well as its size and location. Doctors often use surgery to remove papilloma (Grade I) and atypical papilloma (Grade II) tumors. 

Minimally invasive surgery for choroid plexus tumors, using a port, involves making a precise, individual plan before surgery that may include the use of brain mapping technology. This is a minimally invasive procedure to access the tumor through a dime-sized narrow channel, or port. 

We’ll work with you to develop a plan that ensures you the best possible outcome. Surgery might be the only treatment you’ll need. Or, your doctors might recommend a combination approach, including:

  • Chemotherapy: This approach uses cancer-fighting drugs to stop the growth of tumors.
  • CyberKnife® radiosurgery: A non-invasive, robotic system delivers high-dose radiation therapy to tumors with pinpoint accuracy. Cyberknife is a form of stereotactic radiosurgery.  
  • Neurosurgery: This is the most common treatment for choroid plexus papillomas. If the tumor recurs, you may need follow-up surgery to remove it.
  • Radiation therapy: This process destroys cancer cells and prevents others from growing.

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