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Astroblastoma

Last updated April 27, 2018

Approved by: Krish Tangella MD, MBA, FCAP

Astroblastoma is a rare glial tumor usually located in the cerebral hemisphere of the brain. It can occur in individuals of any age, but occurs predominantly in children and young adults.


What are the other Names for this Condition? (Also known as/Synonyms)

  • Cerebral Astroblastoma

What is Astroblastoma? (Definition/Background Information)

  • Astroblastoma is a rare glial tumor usually located in the cerebral hemisphere of the brain. It can occur in individuals of any age, but occurs predominantly in children and young adults
  • Signs and symptoms depend on the location and size of the tumor but most commonly include headaches and seizures
  • Because these tumors are rare, there is little known regarding their behavior and how they should be managed
  • Gross total resection (complete removal) of the tumor is recommended and is associated with a good prognosis for low-grade tumors
  • Adjuvant therapy, including radiation and/or chemotherapy, is recommended for high-grade and recurrent cases (although its effectiveness is controversial)

(Source: Astroblastoma; Genetic and Rare Diseases Information Center (GARD) of National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS), USA.)

Who gets Astroblastoma? (Age and Sex Distribution)

  • Astroblastoma is a rare tumor that is predominantly observed in children and young adults, although all age groups are susceptible to it
  • Both males and females may be affected
  • Worldwide, individuals of all racial and ethnic groups may be affected

What are the Risk Factors for Astroblastoma? (Predisposing Factors)

  • Currently, no risk factors have been clearly identified for Astroblastoma

It is important to note that having a risk factor does not mean that one will get the condition. A risk factor increases one’s chances of getting a condition compared to an individual without the risk factors. Some risk factors are more important than others.

Also, not having a risk factor does not mean that an individual will not get the condition. It is always important to discuss the effect of risk factors with your healthcare provider.

What are the Causes of Astroblastoma? (Etiology)

The exact cause of Astroblastoma is not known at the present time.

What are the Signs and Symptoms of Astroblastoma?

The signs and symptoms of Astroblastoma may include the following:

  • Headaches
  • Problems with vision
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Weakness
  • Seizures
  • Changes in sensations
  • Impaired memory
  • Irritability

How is Astroblastoma Diagnosed?

Astroblastoma is diagnosed on the basis of the following information:

  • Complete physical examination
  • Thorough medical history evaluation
  • Assessment of signs and symptoms
  • Laboratory tests
  • Imaging studies
  • Biopsy studies, if necessary

Many clinical conditions may have similar signs and symptoms. Your healthcare provider may perform additional tests to rule out other clinical conditions to arrive at a definitive diagnosis.

What are the possible Complications of Astroblastoma?

The potential complications of Astroblastoma may include:

  • Weight loss due to frequent vomiting
  • Changes in behavior, possible aggression
  • Problems with movement due to weakness and impaired coordination
  • Risk of falls and injury due to seizures

Complications may occur with or without treatment, and in some cases, due to treatment also.

How is Astroblastoma Treated?

The treatment for Astroblastoma may be determined by the size, grade and location of a tumor. Treatment options may be as follow:

  • Surgical resection, if the tumor is low-grade
  • Surgery followed by radiation or chemotherapy, for tumors that are high-grade or have recurred after treatment

How can Astroblastoma be Prevented?

  • There are no guidelines or methods available for the prevention of Astroblastoma, since the exact cause or risk factors are not known
  • Active research is currently being performed to explore the possibilities for treatment and prevention of disorders such as Astroblastoma
  • Regular medical screening at periodic intervals with tests and physical examinations are recommended, particularly after a diagnosis of Astroblastoma, to monitor for recurrence

What is the Prognosis of Astroblastoma? (Outcomes/Resolutions)

  • The prognosis of Astroblastoma is dependent upon the size, grade and location of the tumor, along with an individual’s overall health and response to treatment
  • Generally, the outcomes are better for those with low-grade tumors
  • The prognosis may be more guarded for individuals with recurrent tumors

Additional and Relevant Useful Information for Astroblastoma:

The following DoveMed website link is a useful resource for additional information:

http://www.dovemed.com/diseases-conditions/rare-disorders/

What are some Useful Resources for Additional Information?


References and Information Sources used for the Article:


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Reviewed and Approved by a member of the DoveMed Editorial Board
First uploaded: April 27, 2018
Last updated: April 27, 2018