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Brain Stem Glioma



Diffuse brainstem gliomas are the leading cause of death in children with CNS neoplasms and survival statisitics have remained static over the past 20 years.

15-20% of all pediatric brain tumors are brainstem gliomas.

Far more common in children than in adults (75% occur < age 20). 

Peak incidence for all brainstem gliomas is 6-7 years.

Possible slight male predominance.



  • Increased incidence of brainstem gliomas in patients with neurofibromatosis (NF) type 1.
  • Up to 14% of children with NF-1 develop these tumors.   They are typically low grade and indolent - regardless of diffuse or focal presentation. In this setting they generaly have an excellent prognosis, often with little or no intervention.
  • There are no molecular or genetic markers consistently linked to the development of brainstem gliomas.




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