Craniopharyngiomas are tumors near the pituitary gland in the brain. These tumors can affect both adults and children. At NewYork-Presbyterian, we create a treatment plan focused on each patient's present challenges and future wellbeing. We believe it’s critical to weigh the effectiveness of a therapy today against its potential effects many years later. Our patients benefit from:
A Team of Specialists
We'll assemble the team of experts you need for your care. Together your team members will explore your options and reach a consensus about the best course of care for you. Our goal is to destroy as much of your tumor as possible while protecting the rest of your central nervous system.
Carefully Tailored Surgery
The goal of surgery for a craniopharyngioma is to remove as much of the tumor as possible without damaging nearby structures or causing nervous system damage. Surgery may be complicated by the way the tumor invades healthy brain tissue — removing the entire tumor may cause permanent damage, but leaving some of the tumor behind increases the risk of its recurrence. Our expert neurosurgeons remove as much of your tumor as possible, without injuring the sensitive area around it. We carefully plan for each procedure, using the latest mapping techniques and imaging methods for maximum tumor removal and surgical safety.
Minimally Invasive Brain Surgery
Some people with craniopharyngiomas are able to have their tumors removed using endoscopic surgery through the nostrils, with no incisions and no scarring. NewYork-Presbyterian's neurosurgeons have advanced training in endoscopic techniques and are leaders who train other surgeons in its use.
Precision Radiation Therapy
Our neurosurgeons work closely with our radiation oncologists to explore all of your treatment options. We may use highly targeted beams of radiation as an alternative to surgery to treat your craniopharyngioma, or we may give radiation after surgery to kill any remaining cancer cells. Some of our patients receive stereotactic radiosurgery, which involves the use of a highly focused beam of radiation to target tumor cells while leaving surrounding brain tissue unaffected. We are careful in the way we use radiation therapy in young children, since radiation to the developing brain can affect their development.
Some patients may need long-term hormone treatments after craniopharyngioma surgery, but most return to full and active lives after therapy. We'll also follow you periodically with MRI or CT scans to see if your tumor comes back, and treat it promptly if it does.