Type of disease: Rare conditions
Myxopapillary ependymoma (MEPN) is a slow-growing ependymoma (a type of glioma, which is a tumor that arises from the supportive tissue of the brain). They tend to occur in the lower part of the spinal column and are usually considered to be benign, low-grade or grade I tumors. The age of diagnosis ranges from 6 to 82 years. Symptoms of an ependymoma are related to the location and size of the tumor and may include nausea; vomiting; headache; pain; numbness; bowel or bladder symptoms; and various other signs and symptoms. The cause of ependymomas is unknown. They are known to recur locally (more commonly in individuals diagnosed in childhood). Treatment may vary depending on the location, grade, and whether the tumor has spread to the spine, but typically includes aggressive surgery; management may also include chemotherapy and radiation therapy. Source: Genetic and Rare Diseases Information Center (GARD), supported by ORDR-NCATS and NHGRI.