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Cancer Biol Ther. 2009 Jan;8(1):4-10. Epub 2009 Jan 22.

Pediatric low-grade gliomas and the need for new options for therapy: Why and how?

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  • 1Department of Oncology, St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, Memphis, Tennessee, USA.


Pediatric low-grade gliomas are the most common tumors of the central nervous system in children, accounting for almost 50% of all childhood brain tumors. They are a heterogeneous group of tumors with different histologic subtypes. Most treatment studies address low-grade gliomas as a single entity, depriving us of histology-specific treatment outcomes. This is mostly due to a lack of understanding of tumor biology at the molecular level. Pediatric low-grade gliomas are not benign, and most incompletely resected tumors will progress and negatively affect quality of life. The advancements made in understanding sporadic pilocytic astrocytoma and neurofibromatosis 1-associated pilocytic astrocytoma in particular have paved the way for potential targeted therapy and biological stratification. Such progress in pilocytic astrocytoma needs to be consolidated and expanded to other histologic varieties of pediatric low-grade gliomas.

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