Glioblastoma multiforme and anaplastic astrocytoma
Research & Innovation
The pediatric neurosurgeons at Children’s Hospital Boston have access to the most recent technological advances, such as the intra-operative MRI, which allow them to visualize the tumor as they operate with MRI scans, so they can remove as much of the tumor as possible.
Our team also has access to high-tech imaging, such as PET, CT and functional MRI, which enables us to understand exactly where the tumor tissue is, and to map out surgeries and treatments that minimize risk to healthy brain tissue.
For children experiencing seizures, our pediatric neurologists expertly read electroencephalograms (EEGs) to determine the source of seizure activity. They work closely with neurosurgeons to ensure that healthy tissue responsible for everyday functions, such as speech and movement, are minimally damaged during surgery.
What is the latest research on malignant gliomas, including glioblastoma multiforme?
Clinical and basic scientists at Dana-Farber/Children’s Hospital Cancer Center are conducting numerous research studies to help clinicians better understand and treat malignant gliomas.
We belong to the Pediatric Oncology Therapeutic Experimental Investigators Consortium (POETIC), a collaborative clinical research group offering experimental therapies to patients with newly diagnosed, relapsed or refractory disease. It is also the New England Phase I Center of the Children’s Oncology Group and the Department of Defense Neurofibromatosis Clinical Trial Consortium.
Through these consortiums, a number of novel therapies are available for children with both newly diagnosed and current brain tumors. Two new protocols include:
A Phase II trial of radiation therapy, cetuximab and irinotecan for children with newly diagnosed malignant glioma and diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma.
- A second trial for newly diagnosed malignant gliomas is a Phase I gene immuno-therapy trial combined with radiation therapy and temozolomide. This combination is toxic to malignant glioma cells and thus stops their growth. More importantly, it can induce an immune response to malignant cells located outside of the tumor's primary site, thus targeting the infiltrative boundary of the tumor that typically results in recurrence.
|What’s it like to be a medical research subject?|
|Cerebrospinal fluid and glioblastoma|
|Christopher Walsh, MD, PhD, chief of the Division of Genetics at Children's investigate the role cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) may have in glioblastoma, a type of brain tumor. They found that CSF proteins, Pals1 protein and Pten protein, affect how stem cells grow and divide in the brain, and a disruption in these proteins may be associated with glioblastoma. Learn more about this research in the Children’s newsroom.|