Neuronal Tumors

"In most cases, with the correct diagnosis by experienced professionals, complete surgical removal of the tumor is achieved."


What is a neuronal tumor?

Neuronal tumors are formed by tumor cells of neuronal origin.

Two groups are differentiated, depending on whether the neuronal component is unique (gangliocytoma and dysplastic cerebellar ganglion) or predominant, also presenting an astrocytic tumor population (central neurocytoma and cerebellar liponeurocytoma).

The Clinica has created a multidisciplinary Area of Tumors of the Central Nervous System where we count on the support of neuropathologists, neuroradiologists and specialists in Nuclear Medicine in the precise pre and post operative diagnosis.

We are a center with a great availability of human and technical resources. This allows, from a multidisciplinary approach, to provide the patient with the best possible treatment.


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What are the symptoms of neuronal tumors?

The symptoms that can appear will depend on the location of the tumor.

The most common manifestations are epileptic seizures and headaches. Other neurological manifestations may also appear.

The most common symptoms are:

  • Headaches.
  • Epileptic crisis.
  • Double vision.

Do you have any of these symptoms?

You may have a neuronal tumor

How are neuronal tumors diagnosed?


Among the means for the diagnosis of neuronal tumors available at the Clinic are:

  • PET with methionine and FDG. PET with methionine is extraordinarily effective in brain tumors.
  • 1.5 and 3T magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) including the most advanced sequences of perfusion, spectroscopy and tractography.

How are the different types of neuronal tumors treated?

They are rare tumors (0.1-0.5% of all brain tumors) that are often diagnosed around the third decade of life.

The duration of symptoms can extend to 3-4 years and the most frequent manifestations are epileptic seizures and headache, depending on their location.

In magnetic resonance they present calcifications and cystic areas, and can capture contrast in a heterogeneous way. They are considered benign tumors whose surgical treatment can be curative if they are completely resected. Recurrences are rare and are usually related to tumor remnants.

Dysplastic cerebellar ganglion or Lhermitte-Duclos disease are rare tumors that almost always originate from the cerebellar hemispheres. They usually give rise to clinical symptoms between the third and fourth decades of life that are related to long-standing intracranial hypertension and hydrocephalus or progressive cerebellar syndrome. Other neurological signs that may appear are secondary to compression of the brainstem or cranial pairs.

These tumors are associated in some patients with Cowden's disease, an autosomal dominant syndrome with PTEN mutation. Patients with Cowden's disease also present mucocutaneous alterations (trichylemomas, acra keratoses, oral papillomas, mucinous fibromas) and other tumors (thyroid adenoma, gastrointestinal polyps, microcystic disease of the breast) and ovarian cysts or polyps.

In MRI, a lesion is observed that thickens the cerebellum foliae and looks heterogeneous.

These are benign tumors and the treatment of choice is surgical removal.

They are very rare tumors that appear in adulthood (during the fifth decade), in the cerebellar hemispheres or in the vermis.

The resonance image shows hypointense lesions with low contrast uptake.

The treatment of choice is surgery, and today there is no data on radiotherapy or adjuvant chemotherapy that is effective on these tumors.

They are very rare tumors whose description and nomination dates back only three decades, so there is no precise estimate of their incidence (approximately 0.1% of central nervous system tumors).

They originate from the wall of the ventricles or septum pellucidum and symptoms last less than three months until diagnosis as they are related to acute hydrocephalus and intracranial hypertension.

In MRI they are heterogeneous and circumscribed lesions that are located in the cerebral ventricles.

They are benign tumors, although more aggressive than ganglionectomas, and have a good prognosis if complete surgical removal is achieved.

In cases of recurrence, radiosurgery may be indicated on the tumor lesion.

Where do we treat them?


Central Nervous System Tumors Area
of the Cancer Center Clínica Universidad de Navarra

In the Central Nervous System Tumors Area we offer maximum safety and efficiency in brain tumor surgery, being the first hospital with a high field magnetic resonance within the operating room.

We have a highly specialized team in the surgery of brain tumors, with more than 15 years of experience.

The individualized treatment of each case by an interdisciplinary team allows us to offer the best alternative to each patient.

Imagen de la fachada de consultas de la sede en Pamplona de la Clínica Universidad de Navarra

Why at the Clinica?

  • Integral evaluation of the patient.
  • Cutting edge technology.
  • Expert professionals who are a national reference.

Our team of professionals