- Diffuse intrinsic brainstem glioma (DIPG) accounts for 10-15% of all new pediatric brain tumor diagnoses and is the leading cause of brain tumor-related death in children. (DIPG Registry)
- Approximately 100-150 children in the U.S. (300 per year in North America and Europe) are diagnosed with DIPG each year. (DIPG Registry)
- Most cases of DIPG are diagnosed between the ages of 4-11 years of age.
- There is no known cause for DIPG and there are no effective treatments.
- The most common symptoms include:
- Rapidly developing problems controlling eye movements, facial expressions, speech, chewing, and swallowing (due to problems in the cranial nerves)
- Weakness in the arms and legs o Problems with walking and coordination (Dana-Farber Boston Children’s)
- Unfortunately, the survival rate for DIPG remains very low. At this time, there is no cure for this tumor.
More about DIPG
As shown in the illustration, this type of tumor is found in the pons which is a part of the brainstem on the lower back of the brain, near the top of the spinal cord. (Courage for Cancer)
Due to the location on the brainstem, complete surgical removal of the tumor is not possible. Such surgery could cause severe neurological damage, affecting the body’s most vital functions. (Dana-Farber Boston Children’s)
Treatment options include radiation therapy and an experimental chemotherapy.