Skip to main content


Medically reviewed by Last updated on Jan 7, 2023.


Medulloblastoma (muh-dul-o-blas-TOE-muh) is a cancerous brain tumor that starts in the lower back part of the brain. This part of the brain is called the cerebellum. It is involved in muscle coordination, balance and movement.

Medulloblastoma begins as a growth of cells, which is called a tumor. The cells grow quickly and can spread to other parts of the brain. Medulloblastoma cells tend to spread through the fluid that surrounds and protects your brain and spinal cord. This is called cerebrospinal fluid. Medulloblastomas don't usually spread to other parts of the body.

Medulloblastoma can happen at any age, but most often occurs in young children. Though medulloblastoma is rare, it's the most common cancerous brain tumor in children. Medulloblastoma happens more often in families that have a history of conditions that increase the risk of cancer. These syndromes include Gorlin syndrome or Turcot syndrome.

Medulloblastoma symptoms happen when the tumor grows or causes pressure to build up in the brain. They can begin before the cancer is diagnosed and may continue for months or years even after treatment. Signs and symptoms of medulloblastoma may include:


Medulloblastoma is a type of brain cancer that starts in the part of the brain called the cerebellum. Medulloblastoma is the most common type of cancerous brain tumor in children.


The process of diagnosis usually starts with a medical history review and a discussion of signs and symptoms. Tests and procedures used to diagnose medulloblastoma include:


Treatment for medulloblastoma usually includes surgery followed by radiation or chemotherapy, or both. Your health care team considers many factors when creating a treatment plan. These might include the tumor's location, how fast it's growing, whether it has spread to other parts of the brain and the results of tests on the tumor cells. Your care team also considers your age and your overall health.

Treatment options include:

© 1998-2024 Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research (MFMER). All rights reserved. Terms of use.