Type of disease: Rare conditions
A craniopharyngioma is a slow-growing benign tumor that develops near the pituitary gland (a small endocrine gland at the base of the brain) and the hypothalamus (a small cone-shaped organ connected to the pituitary gland by nerves). This tumor most commonly affects children between 5 and 10 years of age; however, adults can sometimes be affected. Craniopharyngiomas are thought to arise from remnants of the craniopharyngeal duct and/or Rathke cleft or from metaplasia (abnormal transformation of cells) of squamous epithelial cell remnants of the stomadeum. Craniopharyngioma is treated with surgery alone or by surgery followed by radiation.