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 are benign slow growing tumours that are located within the sellar and para sellar region of the central nervous system. The point prevalence of this tumour is approximately 2/100,000. Overall, there is an 80% 5 year survival.
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 UK on craniopharyngioma include: The ophthalmic natural history of paediatric craniopharyngioma, Intracystic interferon therapy in childhood craniopharyngioma, Radiotherapy for craniopharyngioma.