Cushing once described craniopharyngiomas as the most forbidding tumor; and, despite surgical advances decades later, craniopharyngioma resection is still extremely complex due to its location and infiltration into local structures, making gross total resection challenging. Adjuvant treatments include radiation and chemotherapy, but intratumoral therapy may emerge as an adjuvant treatment for craniopharyngiomas. Here, we present a review of the literature on this treatment modality; and, summarize the available reported cases to underline usefulness and effectiveness of this treatment method. Our review of the literature included all articles from MEDLINE/PubMed and Ovid from 1974 to 2017. All articles were assessed for relevancy before inclusion into this review. Although the role for intratumoral therapy is unclear, multiple studies have reported efficacy in the treatment of craniopharyngiomas, and current results are promising. Out of the intratumoral agents utilized, intratumoral alpha interferon seems to provide the best response and least side effects for the treatment of craniopharyngiomas. The use of intratumoral therapy has led to delay in treatment with definitive surgery or radiation, both of which are associated with significant morbidities, detrimental in developmental years of childhood. Out of the intratumoral agents utilized, intratumoral alpha interferon seems to provide the best response and least side effects for the treatment of craniopharyngiomas. These findings need to be explored further with randomized controlled trials, outlining a standard dosing regimen. Furthermore, trials in craniopharyngioma patients with these combination therapies must be performed to determine the optimal therapeutic regimen for the successful treatment of these patients.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Clinical Neurology