The number one predictor of how a child will do in an operation is not based on where the tumor is or how big it is. The number one predictor is how experienced the neurosurgeon is in doing that operation in children.
Mark Kieran, MD, PhD, director of the Pediatric Brain Tumors Program
Having a tumor in the brain is always a very serious matter, and a low-grade glioma is no exception. A low-grade glioma is a slow-growing, less aggressive kind of tumor that can grow in a number of places in the brain and spinal cord. The good news is that, in general, children with low-grade gliomas have better long-term health than those with malignant, high-grade types of brain cancer.
There are more 1,000 cases of pediatric low-grade gliomas each year in the United States.
Low-grade gliomas are the most common type of brain tumor in children.
They come from a type of brain cell that provides support and protection for the brain, called glial cells.
Most low-grade gliomas arise from a sub-class of glial cells, known as astrocytes. Just as all salmon are fish but not all fish are salmon, all astrocytomas are gliomas but not all gliomas are astrocytomas.
- This means that there's a good chance that you might hear your child's low-grade glioma also referred to as a low-grade astrocytoma.
As you read on, you’ll find detailed information about low-grade gliomas. If you would like to read more general information about brain tumors first, see our overview on brain tumors.
How Dana-Farber/Children’s Hospital Cancer Center approaches low-grade gliomas
If your child is cared for at Children’s, he will be seen through Dana-Farber/Children’s Hospital Cancer Center, an integrated pediatric oncology program through Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Children’s Hospital Boston that provides—in one specialized program—all the services of both a leading cancer center and a pediatric hospital.
DF/CHCC is home to the world’s largest pediatric low-grade glioma program, the Pediatric Low-Grade Astrocytoma (PLGA) Research Program. Through the PLGA Program, we conduct advanced research on the genetic and molecular causes of low-grade glioma.
After treatment, your child will receive expert follow-up care through the Stop and Shop Neuro-Oncology Outcomes Clinic at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, where he will be are able to meet with his neurosurgeon, radiation oncologist, pediatric neuro-oncologist and neurologists at the same follow-up visit.
Our pediatric brain tumor survivorship clinic is held weekly.
In addition to meeting with your pediatric neuro-oncologists, neurologist and neurosurgeon, your child may also see one of our endocrinologists or alternative/complementary therapy specialists.
School liaisons and psychosocial personnel from the pediatric brain tumor team are also available.
- If your child needs rehabilitation, he may also meet with speech, physical and occupational therapists during and after treatments.
|Have questions about some of the terms mentioned on this page? Visit our Cancer Care Center Glossary for more information.|
Reviewed by Mark Kieran, MD, PhD
© Children’s Hospital Boston, 2010