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Treatment Option Overview

    There are different types of treatment for children with brain stem glioma.

    Different types of treatment are available for children with brain stem glioma. Some treatments are standard (the currently used treatment), and some are being tested in clinical trials. A treatment clinical trial is a research study meant to help improve current treatments or obtain information on new treatments for patients with cancer. When clinical trials show that a new treatment is better than the standard treatment, the new treatment may become the standard treatment.

    Because cancer in children is rare, taking part in a clinical trial should be considered. Some clinical trials are open only to patients who have not started treatment.

    Children with brain stem glioma should have their treatment planned by a team of health care providers who are experts in treating childhood brain tumors.

    Treatment will be overseen by a pediatric oncologist, a doctor who specializes in treating children with cancer. The pediatric oncologist works with other pediatric health care providers who are experts in treating children with brain tumors and who specialize in certain areas of medicine. These may include the following specialists:

    • Neurosurgeon.
    • Neuropathologist.
    • Radiation oncologist.
    • Neuro-oncologist.
    • Neurologist.
    • Rehabilitation specialist.
    • Neuroradiologist.
    • Endocrinologist.
    • Psychologist.

    Childhood brain and spinal cord tumors may cause symptoms that begin before diagnosis and continue for months or years.

    Childhood brain and spinal cord tumors may cause symptoms that continue for months or years. Symptoms caused by the tumor may begin before diagnosis. Symptoms caused by treatment may begin during or right after treatment.

    Some cancer treatments cause side effects months or years after treatment has ended.

    These are called late effects. Late effects may include the following:

    • Physical problems.
    • Changes in mood, feelings, thinking, learning, or memory.
    • Second cancers (new types of cancer).

    Some late effects may be treated or controlled. It is important to talk with your child's doctors about the effects cancer treatment can have on your child. (See the PDQ summary on Late Effects of Treatment for Childhood Cancer for more information).

    Five types of standard treatment are used:

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