What we are studying
This study is for patients with ependymoma. Ependymoma is a type of cancer that occurs in the brain. This slow-growing tumor begins in cells that line the fluid-filled spaces of the brain (called ventricles) or the fluid-filled space down the center of the spinal cord (the central canal). The current standard of treatment for newly diagnosed ependymoma includes surgery to remove as much of the tumor as possible, and radiation therapy (the use of high-dose x-rays to kill cancer cells).
The purpose of this study is to see if giving chemotherapy after surgery and radiation therapy will work better to get rid of the tumor and/or keep it from coming back than treatment with standard therapy. Treatment with chemotherapy is experimental. We also want to study the effects of surgery, radiation therapy and chemotherapy on learning, thinking, hearing and the production of hormones (substances made in the brain that affect growth and development). Additionally, we want to study tumor tissue and blood for possible genetic and biologic factors related to ependymoma.