Pediatric Brain Tumors and DIPG


Facts About Pediatric Brain Tumors

  • Each year 4,200 more children—11.5 each day—are diagnosed with a pediatric brain tumor in the U.S.
  • 72 percent of children diagnosed with a brain tumor are younger than 15.
  • Brain tumors are the deadliest form of childhood cancer. Some tumors, such as atypical teratoid/rhabdoid tumors and some brain stem gliomas, have survival rates of less than 20 percent.
  • Non-malignant/benign brain tumors can kill children if their location in the brain prevents surgical removal or other curative treatments.
  • There are 130 different types of brain tumors, making diagnosis and treatment very difficult.
  • More than 612,000 people in the U.S. were living with a diagnosis of a primary brain or central nervous system tumor in the United States in 2004. Of this number, approximately 28,000 were children with a primary brain tumor.
  • Pediatric brain tumors aren’t like those in adults. Children’s brain tumors require specific research and different treatments.
  • Even though survival rates for some childhood brain tumors have increased over the past 30 years, survivors often suffer from lifelong side effects of treatments such as surgery, radiation and chemotherapy.
  • Brain tumors are located in children’s control center of thought, emotion and movement, often resulting in long-term side effects. Survivors can have physical, learning and emotional challenges that will limit the quality of their lives into adulthood.
  • Research that focuses specifically on pediatric brain tumors is crucial to saving children’s lives and improving survivors’ quality of life.

Source: Run of Hope Seattle

Peyton’s Ranch Angels

About Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma (DIPG)

“The cruelty of this disease cannot be denied. Sparing their cognitive abilities, DIPG slowly robs children of their motor functions resulting in partial paralysis, loss of voice and sight and finally ending with an inability to eat and breathe. It is both heart wrenching and painful as they are fully aware of their decline often until their last day.”

brain_scanPeyton was diagnosed with a Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma (DIPG), which is a tumor located in the pons (middle) of the brain stem. The brain stem is the bottom most portion of the brain, connecting the cerebrum with the spinal cord. The majority of brain stem tumors occur in the pons (middle brain stem), are diffusely infiltrating (they grow amidst the nerves), and therefore are not able to be surgically removed. Glioma is a general name for any tumor that arises from the supportive tissue called glia, which help keep the neurons (“thinking cells”) in place and functioning well. The brain stem contains all of the “wires” converging from the brain to the spinal cord as well as important structures involved in eye movements, face and throat muscle control and sensation.

Source: The American Brain Tumor Association. (PDF)



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