Craniopharyngioma is a type of brain tumor derived from pituitary gland embryonic tissue that occurs most commonly in children but also in men and women in their 50s and 60s. People may present with bitemporal inferior quadrantanopia leading to bitemporal hemianopia, as the tumor may compress the optic chiasm. Craniopharyngiomas are typically very slow growing tumors. They arise from the cells along the pituitary stalk, specifically from nests of odontogenic (tooth-forming) epithelium within the suprasellar/diencephalic region and, therefore, contain deposits of calcium, which are evident on an x-ray. Balance disorder, Dry skin, Fatigue, Fever, Headache, Hypersomnia, Lethargy, Myxedema, Nausea etc. include is symptoms.
Craniopharyngiomas account for 1.2 – 4.6 per cent of all intracranial tumours in Canada.
Treatment generally consists of subfrontal or transsphenoidal excision. Surgery using the transsphenoidal route is often performed by a joint team of ENT and neurosurgeons. Because of the location of the craniopharyngioma near the brain and skullbase, a surgical navigation system might be used to verify the position of surgical tools during the operation. Additional radiotherapy is also used if total removal is not possible.
The ongoing researches in Canada on craniopharyngioma include: Trends in treatment and outcomes of pediatric craniopharyngioma, Long-term outcomes for adult craniopharyngioma following radiation therapy, Intracystic interferon-α treatment leads to neurotoxicity in craniopharyngioma, Autonomic nervous system balance in children and adolescents with craniopharyngioma and hypothalamic obesity.