Leptomeningeal Dissemination in Pediatric Brain Tumors

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Carolina Cocito, Brice Martin, Alexandra M. Giantini-Larsen, Marcus Valcarce-Aspegren, Mark M. Souweidane, Luca Szalontay, Nadia Dahmane, Jeffrey P. Greenfield
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A condition called leptomeningeal disease (LMD) is not well understood in children with brain tumors. LMD is when the cancer cells spread to the tissues surrounding the brain and spinal cord. It can happen at the same time as the primary tumor, after the tumor comes back, or even without a tumor in the brain. LMD is seen most often in a type of brain tumor called medulloblastoma. The spread of cancer cells to the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) is what causes LMD, and these cells develop unique ways to survive in the tough environment of the CSF. Researchers suggest that by understanding how LMD works and improving diagnosis and treatment methods, doctors can help children with brain tumors have a better outcome.