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Crit Rev Oncol Hematol. 2009 Aug;71(2):165-79. doi: 10.1016/j.critrevonc.2009.02.002. Epub 2009 Mar 19.

Adult neuroectodermal tumors of posterior fossa (medulloblastoma) and of supratentorial sites (stPNET).

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Department of Medical Oncology, Azienda USL-Bellaria-Maggiore Hospital Bologna, Italy.


Medulloblastoma and supratentorial primitive neuroectodermal tumors are rare diseases in adults. Due to this rarity, few prospective clinical trials have been conducted on medulloblastoma in adults, investigations being based exclusively on retrospective studies; the populations considered in literature are small, and the different treatments given span decades, during which diagnostic procedures, neurosurgical skills and radiotherapy techniques have changed. Unlike pediatric patients, adult medulloblastoma patients have been treated according to risk-adapted therapeutic strategies in only a few series and despite risk-tailored treatments, 20-30% of patients experience recurrence. Although patients could respond to second line treatments, the prognosis of relapsed patients remains dismal. An important challenge for the future will be the biological characterization of medulloblastoma, with the identification of specific genetic patterns of patients with a better or a worse prognosis.

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