This is a suprasella tumour which is solid and cystic and results in visual loss, hypopituitarism and hypothalamic damage (including morbid obesity secondary to uncontrolled appetite). It presents in both children and adults. If complete surgical resection, without damaging the hypothalamus is possible, then this is the optimal choice of treatment. However, this is frequently not possible. In which case a limited debulking to reduce any pressure and radical radiotherapy is the optimal management as aggressive surgery alone results in a worse 10 year survival due to the long term morbidity and mortality from hypothalamic and hypopituitary damage.

Teaching Session 2020


RT is considered/offered to all those with residual craniopharngioma post surgery. It may also be used in recurrent tumours, if not used previously. The efficacy is outlined in the case series below.

Long term results after fractionated stereotactic radiotherapy (FSRT) in patients with craniopharyngioma: maximal tumor control with minimal side effects
Semi B Harrabi, Sebastian Adeberg, Thomas Welzel, Stefan Rieken, Daniel Habermehl, J├╝rgen Debus and Stephanie E Combs
Radiation Oncology 2014, 9:203

Long term follow up of the series of 55 patients treated with fractionated stereotactic radiotherapy by Stephanie Combs