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Pediatric diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma: where do we stand?


Pediatric diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma (DIPG) represents approximately 20% of all pediatric CNS tumors. However, disease outcomes are dismal with a median survival of less than 1 year and a 2-year overall survival rate of less than 10%. Despite extensive efforts to improve survival outcomes, progress towards clinical improvement has been largely stagnant throughout the last 4 decades. Focal radiotherapy remains the standard of care with no promising single-agent alternatives and no evidence for improvement with the addition of a long list of systemic therapies. A better understanding of the biology of DIPG, though not easy due to obstacles in obtaining pathological material to study, is promising for the development of specific individualized treatment for this fatal disease. Recent studies have found epigenetic mutations to be successful predictors and prognostic factors for developing future management policies. The aim of this review is to give a global overview about the epidemiology, diagnosis, and treatment of DIPG. We further examine the controversial biopsy and autopsy issue that is unique to DIPG and assess the subsequent impact this issue has on the research efforts and clinical management of DIPG.

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Correspondence to Wafaa M. Rashed or Mohamed Saad Zaghloul.

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Rashed, W.M., Maher, E., Adel, M. et al. Pediatric diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma: where do we stand?. Cancer Metastasis Rev 38, 759–770 (2019).

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  • Diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma (DIPG)
  • Epidemiology
  • Biopsy and autopsy
  • Liquid biopsy
  • Biology
  • Treatment