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Treatment Options for Childhood Brain Stem Glioma

A link to a list of current clinical trials is included for each treatment section. For some types or stages of cancer, there may not be any trials listed. Check with your child's doctor for clinical trials that are not listed here but may be right for your child.

Untreated Childhood Brain Stem Glioma

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Untreated childhood brain stem glioma is a tumor for which no treatment has been given. The child may have received drugs or treatment to relieve symptoms caused by the tumor.

Standard treatment of diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma is usually radiation therapy.

Some of the treatments being studied in clinical trials for diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma include the following:

Standard treatment of focal or low-grade glioma may include the following:

  • Surgery with or without radiation therapy, which may be followed by adjuvant chemotherapy.
  • Cerebrospinal fluid diversion followed by watchful waiting.

Treatment of brain stem glioma in children with neurofibromatosis type 1 may be watchful waiting. The tumors are slow-growing in these children and may not need specific treatment for years.

Check for U.S. clinical trials from NCI's list of cancer clinical trials that are now accepting patients with untreated childhood brain stem glioma. For more specific results, refine the search by using other search features, such as the location of the trial, the type of treatment, or the name of the drug. General information about clinical trials is available from the NCI Web site.

Recurrent Childhood Brain Stem Glioma

Treatment of recurrent childhood brain stem glioma depends on the type of tumor, whether it comes back in the place in which it started or in another part of the brain, and the type of treatment previously given.

Standard treatment of recurrent diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma is usually palliative therapy, to relieve symptoms and improve the patient's quality of life. The patient may also be treated in a clinical trial of a new treatment.

Treatment of recurrent focal or low-grade childhood brain stem glioma may include the following:

  • Surgery.
  • Radiation therapy.
  • Chemotherapy.
  • A clinical trial of a new treatment.

Check for U.S. clinical trials from NCI's list of cancer clinical trials that are now accepting patients with recurrent childhood brain stem glioma. For more specific results, refine the search by using other search features, such as the location of the trial, the type of treatment, or the name of the drug. General information about clinical trials is available from the NCI Web site.

WebMD Public Information from the National Cancer Institute

Last Updated: February 25, 2014
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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