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​Choroid Plexus Tumor

What is a Choroid Plexus Tumor?

Choroid plexus tumors grow into the ventricles (fluid-filled spaces in the brain) from the cells that produce spinal fluid.

Choroid plexus tumors can cause symptoms similar to other intraventricular tumors, with headache and confusion as the most common symptoms.

Types of choroid plexus tumors

  • Choroid plexus papillomas are benign (noncancerous), slow-growing tumors.
  • Choroid plexus carcinomas are malignant (cancerous), aggressive tumors.

The primary treatment for choroid plexus tumors is surgery to remove them.

At UPMC, the preferred surgical treatment for choroid plexus tumors is Neuroendoport® surgery. Neuroendoport surgery gives surgeons access to the tumor through a dime-size channel. This minimally invasive approach offers benefits such as:

  • Minimal scarring
  • Fewer side effects and complications
  • Faster recovery times than with traditional surgery

Diagnosing a Choroid Plexus Tumor

To help diagnose choroid plexus tumors, your doctor will ask you about your symptoms and order imaging tests.

Symptoms of choroid plexus tumors

Choroid plexus tumors may cause symptoms such as:

  • Headaches
  • Confusion
  • Seizures
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Weakness or loss of sensation in the arms and/or legs
  • Speech, vision, or memory problems
  • Personality changes

Imaging and radiology tests for diagnosing choroid plexus tumors

Your doctor can identify a choroid plexus tumor using imaging studies such as MRI or CT scans.

Choroid Plexus Tumor Treatments

Surgery

Surgery is the primary treatment for choroid plexus tumors.

Surgery can usually cure choroid plexus papillomas, which are noncancerous.

People with choroid plexus carcinomas — a malignant (cancerous) type of choroid plexus tumor — usually require additional treatments, such as radiation therapy and chemotherapy.

Our neurosurgical team may recommend a combination of surgical and non-surgical approaches for you, to maximize the benefits of surgery while minimizing risks.

Minimally invasive surgery

Neuroendoport® surgery offers a minimally invasive option for tumors within the ventricles (fluid spaces) or deep-seated tumors within the substance of the brain. A narrow tube or port allows surgeons to access these tumors through a tiny incision in the scalp, in contrast to traditional brain surgery.

Radiation therapy

Radiation is a common treatment for brain tumors, either alone or in combination with surgery and/or chemotherapy.

Radiation therapy may be delivered in several ways:

  • Externally, by directing radiation at the choroid plexus tumor from an outside source.
  • Internally, by placing radioactive material directly in the area of the brain near the cancer.
  • Using stereotactic radiosurgery, by sending a concentrated dose of radiation directly to the tumor.

Chemotherapy

Chemotherapy treatment uses drugs to stop the growth of cancer cells and may be used to treat choroid plexus carcinoma.

Depending on the stage of your cancer, you might receive chemotherapy by mouth, by injection, or directly into the site of the tumor.

Neuroendoport® Surgery
This animation illustrates the removal of a metastasis using the Neuroendoport technique.

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