Learn About Hypothalamic Tumor

What is the definition of Hypothalamic Tumor?

A hypothalamic tumor is an abnormal growth in the hypothalamus gland, which is located in the brain.

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What are the alternative names for Hypothalamic Tumor?

Hypothalamic glioma; Hypothalamus - tumor

What are the causes of Hypothalamic Tumor?

The exact cause of hypothalamic tumors is not known. It is likely that they result from a combination of genetic and environmental factors.

In children, most hypothalamic tumors are gliomas. Gliomas are a common type of brain tumor that results from the abnormal growth of glial cells, which support nerve cells. Gliomas can occur at any age. They are often more aggressive in adults than in children.

In adults, tumors in the hypothalamus are more likely cancer that has spread from another organ.

People with neurofibromatosis (a hereditary condition) are at increased risk for this type of tumor. People who have undergone radiation therapy are at increased risk of developing tumors in general.

What are the symptoms of Hypothalamic Tumor?

These tumors can cause a range of symptoms:

  • Euphoric "high" sensations
  • Failure to thrive (lack of normal growth in children)
  • Headache
  • Hyperactivity
  • Loss of body fat and appetite (cachexia)

These symptoms are most often seen in children whose tumors affect the front part of the hypothalamus.

Some tumors may cause vision loss. If the tumors block the flow of spinal fluid, headaches and sleepiness may result from fluid collecting in the brain (hydrocephalus).

Some people can have seizures as a result of brain tumors. Other people may develop precocious puberty from a change in pituitary gland function.

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What are the current treatments for Hypothalamic Tumor?

The treatment depends on how aggressive the tumor is, and whether it is a glioma or another type of cancer. Treatment may involve combinations of surgery, radiation, and chemotherapy.

Special radiation treatments can be focused on the tumor. They can be as effective as surgery, with less risk to surrounding tissue. Brain swelling caused by a tumor may need to be treated with steroids.

Hypothalamic tumors may produce hormones or affect hormone production, leading to imbalances that may need to be corrected. In some cases, hormones may need to be replaced or reduced.

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What are the support groups for Hypothalamic Tumor?

You can often help the stress of illness by joining a support group where members share common experiences and problems.

What is the outlook (prognosis) for Hypothalamic Tumor?

The outlook depends on:

  • The type of tumor (glioma or other type)
  • Location of tumor
  • Grade of tumor
  • Size of tumor
  • Your age and general health

In general, gliomas in adults are more aggressive than in children and usually have a worse outcome. Tumors that cause hydrocephalus may cause more complications, and may need surgery.

What are the possible complications of Hypothalamic Tumor?

Complications of brain surgery may include:

  • Bleeding
  • Brain damage
  • Death (rarely)
  • Infection

Seizures can result from the tumor or from any surgical procedure on the brain.

Hydrocephalus can occur with some tumors and can require surgery or a catheter placed in the brain to reduce spinal fluid pressure.

Risks for radiation therapy include damage to healthy brain cells when tumor cells are destroyed.

Common side effects from chemotherapy include loss of appetite, nausea and vomiting, and fatigue.

When should I contact a medical professional for Hypothalamic Tumor?

Call your provider if you or your child develops any symptoms of a hypothalamic tumor. Regular medical check-ups may detect early signs of a problem, such as abnormal weight gain or early puberty.

What are the latest Hypothalamic Tumor Clinical Trials?
Clinical Investigation to Evaluate the CONVIVO System for Discrimination of Normal From Abnormal Tissue During Brain Tumor Resection

Summary: The primary objective of this study is to evaluate the diagnostic performance of the CONVIVO confocal endomicroscope in discriminating between normal and abnormal tissue in vivo during brain tumor surgery. The interpretation of intraoperative images obtained in situ will be tested against conventional histologic evaluation of targeted biopsies from imaged tissue. The study team hypothesize that th...

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KRANIOPHARYNGEOM Registry 2019 Multicenter Registry for Patients With Childhood-onset Craniopharyngioma, Xanthogranuloma, Cysts of Rathke's Pouch, Meningioma, Pituitary Adenoma, Arachnoid Cysts

Summary: KRANIOPHARYNGEOM Registry 2019 will prospectively collect and descriptively analyse data on diagnostics, treatment, and follow-up of patients with craniopharyngioma. In continuation of preceding studies also patients with xanthogranuloma, meningioma, pituitary adenoma, prolactinoma and cystic intracranial malformations will be registered.

What are the Latest Advances for Hypothalamic Tumor?
Pituitary adenomas in the elderly: Retrospective comparative analysis of clinical/tumor features and surgical data by age group.
Outcome of giant pituitary tumors requiring surgery.
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Craniopharyngiomas Invading the Ventricular System: A Systematic Review.
Who are the sources who wrote this article ?

Published Date: January 25, 2022
Published By: Todd Gersten, MD, Hematology/Oncology, Florida Cancer Specialists & Research Institute, Wellington, FL. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.

What are the references for this article ?

Goodden J, Mallucci C. Optic pathway hypothalamic gliomas. In: Winn HR, ed. Youmans and Winn Neurological Surgery. 8th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2023:chap 233.

Weiss RE. Neuroendocrinology and the neuroendocrine system. In: Goldman L, Schafer AI, eds. Goldman-Cecil Medicine. 26th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2020:chap 210.