Ependymomas are usually slow-growing tumours of the central nervous system. The cells of these brain tumours have similar tissue characteristics as the ependymal cells which line the hollow cavities of the brain and the spinal canal. Although they tend to affect children and adolescents, ependymoma can occur at any age. About 30 to 40 children per 100,000 under 15 years are affected.

Because they are located close to the ventricle, the ependymoma is often obstructing the flow of cerebrospinal fluid which can lead to an increase of pressure in the brain. This can result in persistent headaches, nausea and vomiting, as well as a hydrocephalus.

There are statistically more benign ependymomas than malicious ones. The anaplastic ependymoma is the malignant form of this tumour.  Anaplastisch means that higher differentiated cells (so normal, healthy cells) become less differentiated (they become malignant).

For the diagnostic, especially because of the many differential diagnoses, apart from the neurological examinations, special imaging techniques are used: electroencephalogram (EEG), computer tomography (CT), magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), angiography, evoked potential, auditory evoked potential AEP, visual evoked potential VEP, sensory evoked potentials (SEP) positron emission tomography (PET) and blood tests (eg tumor markers) and biopsies.

With an examination of tissue, the main criteria are the so-called pseudorosettes to the blood vessels, in which tumour cells are arranged around vessels.

Recommended therapies for the treatment of ependynoma:

Locoregional Hyperthermia

The purely effective regional hyperthermia is also recommended for tumors of the central nervous system: during this treatment the affected region is quickly heated to high temperatures (40 up to 44 ° C). This heating activates the immune system. Also, many degenerated cells of ependymomas will be damaged or destroyed. In our day clinic at the Hyperthermia Centre Hannover we offer this partial body hyperthermia treatment according to the diagnosis of the patient, and only damaged or degenerated tissue is overheated, which guarantees very gentle treatment to our patients.

Infusions with high-dose vitamin C

In the Hyperthermia Centre Hannover, we treat patients with ependymoma successfully with high-dose vitamin C.

The so-called ascorbic acid is the most known vitamin - and the most important antioxidant, i.e. It traps free harmful radicals in the body and renders them harmless - thus protecting the cells from degeneration. Vitamin C is also essential for the immune system and for various processes of remodeling in the body. If vitamin C is given in high doses, the treatment of an ependymoma can be positively influenced.