Even after the best treatment, ependymomas can regrow or recur. There is no way to predict which patients are more likely to have tumor recurrence.
For this reason, routine check-ups and MRIs are highly recommended. Most commonly, the regrowth occurs in the same spot as the first tumor. But it is possible for the tumor to grow somewhere else within the central nervous system. The time from treatment to tumor regrowth can be varied. Often patients are tumor-free for years before testing shows new tumor growth.
Patients who have previously received radiation therapy may not be able to treat a tumor with this same treatment. Instead, surgery and chemotherapy will be the most viable treatment options. Remember, you are not obligated to undergo treatment at the same facility as your first time. Be sure to do research and be aware of your options. We encourage you to consider the various CERN Centers that offer expertise on ependymoma.
If you have learned of a recurrence of ependymoma, try not to be overly discouraged. After receiving the diagnosis and accepting your situation, you can begin to focus on making treatment decisions and start on your road toward recovery. Talk with your doctor about all options. This is a common time when clinical trials are considered.