Pleuropulmonary Blastoma Overview
Pleuropulmonary blastoma (PPB) is a rare type of childhood lung tumor. It can begin in either the lung tissue or the chest cavity and can occur in very young children. The earlier pleuropulmonary blastoma is diagnosed, the better the prognosis.
Types of Pleuropulmonary Blastoma
Doctors utilize stages and types to describe the location of the tumor and if it has spread. There are four types of pleuropulmonary blastoma used in describing the stage and location of the cancer:
- Type I: Occurs very early in a child’s life, usually before 1-year-old, and is made up of cysts that show signs of being cancerous
- Type Ir: Similar to Type 1 but cysts do not have cancerous cells or are regressing
- Type II: Shows cysts and cancerous nodules and occurs in children 3 - 4 years old
- Type III: Solid cancerous tumor that occurs in children 3 - 4 years old and needs intensive chemotherapy to treat
Signs and Symptoms of Pleuropulmonary Blastoma
Below are some of the more common symptoms associated with pleuropulmonary blastoma. However, not every child experiences the same symptoms.
- Sudden stressful breathing
- Pneumonia like symptoms including cough, fever, and pain in chest
- Cysts or tumor found during MRI
Pleuropulmonary Blastoma Diagnosis
The only way to correctly diagnose pleuropulmonary blastoma is through a biopsy of tissue from the lung or chest. At times, a child may need other x-rays or tests to confirm diagnosis.
Treatment of Pleuropulmonary Blastoma
Pleuropulmonary blastoma can be treated with surgery, chemotherapy, radiation therapy and symptom management. Contact the Division of Pediatric Oncology at St. Louis Children’s Hospital to learn more about available treatment options for this rare type of childhood cancer.