Types of medulloblastoma:
_ classic medulloblastoma
_ desmoplastic nodular medullobastoma
_ large-cell or anaplastic medulloblastoma
_ medulloblastoma with neuroblastic or neuronal differentiation
_ medulloblastoma with glial differentiation
_ melanotic medulloblastoma
To a neurosurgeon, this tumor looks like a pinkish gray mass with a thickened “sugar-coating.” But under the microscope, classic medulloblastoma tissue looks like sheets of densely packed, small round cells with large colorful centers called nuclei. While this classic pattern is found in the majority of both pediatric and adult tumors, four other notable tissue patterns include desmoplastic nodular medullobastoma, which contains scattered islands of tumor cells in the tissue and small cysts; large-cell or anaplastic medulloblastoma, with large round tumor cells; medulloblastoma with neuroblastic or neuronal differentiation, in which the tumor cells look similar to abnormal nerve cells; and medulloblastoma with glial differentiation, whose cells look similar to the supportive, glial brain cells.Two other variants, medullomyoblastoma and melanotic medulloblastoma, are rarer and generally found only in children. These “histologic” tissue patterns are used for grouping and naming these tumors, and may someday be useful for targeting therapies. For now, though, the subtype of medulloblastoma does not influence the treatment plan. Significant strides have been made in diagnosing and treating medulloblastoma. Yet these tumors remain among the most challenging pediatric brain tumors.