Symptoms and Signs of Childhood Craniopharyngioma

Medical Author:
Medically Reviewed on 10/5/2021

Doctor's Notes on Childhood Craniopharyngioma

Childhood craniopharyngiomas are rare brain tumors found near the pituitary gland and the hypothalamus. They are usually part solid mass and part fluid-filled cyst. Childhood craniopharyngiomas are benign (not cancerous) but they may grow and press on nearby parts of the brain or other areas, including the pituitary gland, the optic chiasm, optic nerves, and fluid-filled spaces in the brain, and can affect brain functions, hormone making, growth, and vision. 

Symptoms of childhood craniopharyngiomas include:

What Is the Treatment for Childhood Craniopharyngioma?

Treatment for childhood craniopharyngioma varies according to each individual. Sometimes, surgery to remove the tumor is all that is required. In other cases, additional treatments may be given after surgery.

Treatment options include:

  • Surgery to remove the tumor
  • Radiation therapy to kill tumor cells and prevent further growth
  • Cyst drainage for tumors that consist mainly of fluid-filled cysts
  • Chemotherapy with anti-cancer drugs
  • Immunotherapy, which uses the patient’s own immune system to attack the tumor


Kasper, D.L., et al., eds. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, 19th Ed. United States: McGraw-Hill Education, 2015.