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Childhood Brain Stem Glioma Treatment (PDQ®): Treatment - Patient Information [NCI] - Treatment Options for Childhood Brain Stem Glioma

Newly Diagnosed Childhood Brain Stem Glioma

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

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Standard treatment of diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma (DIPG) may include the following:

  • Radiation therapy.
  • Chemotherapy (in infants).

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

  • Surgery that may be followed by external radiation therapy and/or chemotherapy.
  • Observation for small tumors that grow slowly. Cerebrospinal fluid diversion may be done when there is extra fluid in the brain.
  • Internal radiation therapy with radioactive seeds, with or without chemotherapy, when the tumor cannot be removed by surgery.
  • Targeted therapy with a BRAF kinase inhibitor, for certain tumors that cannot be removed by surgery.

Treatment of brain stem glioma in children with neurofibromatosis type 1 may be observation. 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. Talk with your child's doctor about clinical trials that may be right for your child. General information about clinical trials is available from the NCI Web site.

Recurrent Childhood Brain Stem Glioma

Treatment of recurrent diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma is usually palliative therapy, to relieve symptoms and improve the child's quality of life. The child 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:

  • A second surgery to remove the tumor.
  • External 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. Talk with your child's doctor about clinical trials that may be right for your child. General information about clinical trials is available from the NCI Web site.

    This information is produced and provided by the National Cancer Institute (NCI). The information in this topic may have changed since it was written. For the most current information, contact the National Cancer Institute via the Internet web site at http:// cancer .gov or call 1-800-4-CANCER.

    WebMD Public Information from the National Cancer Institute

    Last Updated: May 28, 2015
    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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