Pineal Region Tumors

Find a Brain Tumor Specialist Near You

Houston Methodist is a proven leader in pineal region brain tumor treatment and research. We offer personalized care using state-of-the-art surgical technology, innovative research and compassionate and experienced providers.

Pineal region brain tumors account for fewer than 1% of all primary brain tumors. The specialists at Houston Methodist have extensive experience treating these rare tumors. Houston Methodist offers personalized treatment plans tailored for your condition, tumor and lifestyle.


Our Pituitary Tumor Treatment Center provides world-class neurosurgery and oncology treatments for patients with brain tumors, from the most common to the rare and complex. Houston Methodist offers a multidisciplinary approach to treatment with patient-focused care you won’t find anywhere else in Houston.


Our goal is to provide tomorrow's cures to today’s patients. 

Providing Successful Patient Outcomes and Support

Our compassionate, comprehensive team of experts offers:


  • Dedicated pituitary tumor treatment center: Our researchers study advanced brain tumor treatment technologies, such as nanotechnology, gene therapy, biochemistry, neurochemistry, stem cell technology and genetics.
  • Clinical trials: Houston Methodist is actively involved in specialized clinical trials. These trials help us quickly and safely deliver the latest technologies to our patients in Houston and throughout the state.
  • Brain tumor support group: Patients and their families, friends and caregivers are invited to this monthly support group. Members share stories of hope and provide emotional support to one another.

Treating Pineal Region Brain Tumors at Any Stage

What types of pineal tumors do you treat?

Houston Methodist’s world-class neurologists, neurosurgeons and oncologists have experience treating all types of pineal region brain tumors:


  • Pineocytomas are slow-growing tumors (grade I or II) with a low potential to spread. These tumors typically affect people from 20 to 64 years old.
  • Pineal parenchymal tumors (grade II or III) affect people of all ages.
  • Papillary pineal tumors are intermediate grade (II or III).
  • Pineoblastomas are very aggressive tumors (grade IV) and are highly likely to metastasize. They’re usually diagnosed in people under age 20.

How are pineal region brain tumors diagnosed?

Common symptoms of pineal region tumors may include one or more of the following:


  • Balance issues
  • Confusion
  • Difficulty walking
  • Headaches
  • Nausea
  • Visual changes (abnormal eye movements or double vision)
  • Vomiting


Diagnosis begins with a complete neurological examination where we test your reflexes, balance, hearing, vision and sense of smell. 


We use diagnostic imaging — such as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) or computerized tomography (CT) — to visualize the location and size of the tumor. Our experienced diagnosticians may also analyze cerebrospinal fluid or use surgical biopsy for further analysis

What are my treatment options?

Pineal region tumors can cause increased pressure inside the brain due to the production of excessive cerebrospinal fluid (CSF). These tumors can also block the flow of CSF, leading to a condition known as hydrocephalus, or water on the brain.


Surgery is typically the first and best option for pineal region tumors and to correct the hydrocephalus.


Following surgery, we tailor a treatment plan to meet your needs, including:


  • Chemotherapy to stop or slow the growth of the tumor.
  • Radiation that targets the brain tumor without affecting other parts of the body. Our experienced and collaborative radiation team includes a neurosurgeon, a radiation oncologist and a radiation physicist. 
  • Clinical trials that also may offer treatment options.

Judy's Cancer Story

Judy Elliott explains her journey with a pineal region brain tumor and why she trusted Houston Methodist for her care.

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