Atypical teratoid rhabdoid tumors (AT/RT) are very rare, aggressive tumors of the central nervous system, occurring mostly in the cerebellum (the part of the brain that controls movement and balance) and the brain stem (the part of the brain that controls basic body functions). AT/RT usually occurs by age 3, but arises in older children, as well.
These tumors are part of a larger group of malignant tumors called rhabdoid tumors which can occur outside the brain. AT/RT may be localized to one part of the brain or spread to other locations in the brain, central nervous system or body.
Children with atypical teratoid rhabdoid tumors (AT/RT) are treated through the Brain Tumor Center at Dana-Farber/Boston Children's Cancer and Blood Disorders Center, a world leader in treating this extremely rare disease. Through clinical trials, our researchers are testing new, targeted treatments that may help improve the survival rate for AT/RT.
AT/RT can grow very rapidly, with symptoms developing quickly over a period of days to weeks. The most common symptoms are:
Doctors diagnose AT/RT with:
After all tests are completed, doctors will be able to outline the best treatment options.
The most common treatments for AT/RT are: