Disease Information

Brain Tumor: Atypical Teratoid / Rhabdoid Tumor (ATRT)

Alternate Names: ATRT

What is atypical teratoid rhabdoid tumor?

Atypical teratoid rhabdoid tumor (ATRT) is a rare and fast-growing cancerous tumor of the brain and spinal cord. About half of these tumors begin in the cerebellum or brain stem:

ATRT often appears to result from changes in a gene that normally makes proteins to stop tumor growth. In ATRT, this gene does not function properly, the protein is not made and tumor growth is uncontrolled. More than 90% of cases of ATRT are related to this gene defect. While this defect commonly occurs only within the cancer, this gene defect may be inherited and your doctor can discuss a need for genetic testing.

How common are atypical teratoid rhabdoid tumors?

What are the symptoms of an atypical teratoid rhabdoid tumor?

ATRT symptoms vary widely depending on the patient’s age and the tumor’s location. Because ATRTs are fast-growing, symptoms usually progress rapidly in a short period of time.

Symptoms of ATRT may include the following:

How is an atypical teratoid rhabdoid tumor treated?

Treatment depends on the size and location of the tumor as well as the patient’s age. Because of the aggressive nature of these tumors, most patients receive several types of treatment, which may include surgery, chemotherapy and radiation.

What are the survival rates for atypical teratoid rhabdoid tumor?

ATRT is an aggressive form of cancer and is difficult to cure. Survival is poor, but treatment advances are being made. Current advances in therapy have helped older children, and children with tumors that can be completely removed have an improved survival. New therapy is being investigated in clinical trials. The goal is to increase the cure rates and improve survival in very young children and in children who have disease that cannot be surgically removed.

Why choose St. Jude for your child’s atypical teratoid rhabdoid tumor treatment?

Contact the Brain Tumor Team any time, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Call our Brain Tumor Coordinator, Tabatha E. Doyle, RN:
(901) 595-2544 or
(901) 595-4599

Or email us at braintumors@stjude.org


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