Embryonal tumors of the central nervous system are malignant tumors. The tumors start in the embryonal cells, which are the cells left over from the fetal development in the brain. Embryonal tumors can occur at any age, but most often occur in babies and young children.
One of the various types of embryonal tumors is medulloblastoma, which typically originates in the lower back part of the brain, also known as the cerebellum. It is the most prevalent type of embryonal tumor.
According to histology (how they appear under a microscope) and molecular profiling characteristics (information gained during the genetic testing on a sample of the tumor removed during a biopsy), all brain tumors are divided into different categories These are some types of embryonal tumors:
- Medulloblastomas: are embryonal tumors that primarily arise in the cerebellum, situated in the lower back of the brain. This area is responsible for regulating muscle coordination, balance, and movement. Although they tend not to metastasize to other parts of the body, medulloblastomas often disseminate via the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) to other regions surrounding the brain and spinal cord.
- Embryonal tumors with multilayered rosettes (ETMRs): are rare and malignant tumors that predominantly affect infants and young children. These aggressive tumors commonly arise in the cerebrum. While other areas of the brain may also be affected by ETMRs, these tumors are often distinguished by a specific genetic mutation.
- Medulloepitheliomas: are rare malignant tumors that typically grow rapidly and are commonly found in the brain or spinal cord of newborns and young children.
- Atypical teratoid/rhabdoid tumors: are rare malignant tumors that are commonly observed in the cerebellum of infants and young children below the age of three.
- Other embryonal tumors: The category of embryonal tumors not otherwise specified typically encompasses the majority of malignant tumors that were initially classified as primitive neuroectodermal tumors (PNETs), which arise in the brain and spinal cord.
The signs and symptoms of embryonal tumors might vary depending on the kind of tumor, where it is located, how severe it is, and other factors including pressure building inside the brain. Symptoms may include the following.
- Nausea and vomiting
- Muscular weakness
- Double vision
- Unsteady gait
An embryonal tumor’s root cause is typically unknown. Turcot syndrome, Rubinstein-Taybi syndrome, Nevoid basal cell carcinoma (Gorlin) syndrome, Li-Fraumeni syndrome, and Faconi anemia are a few inherited conditions that increase the likelihood of getting this kind of tumor.