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Astrocytomas are tumors that arise from brain cells called astrocytes, which are a type of glial cell. An anaplastic astrocytoma is a high-grade (malignant) glioma, originating from the glial (supportive) tissue of the brain. Dana-Farber/Boston Children’s Cancer and Blood Disorder Center's Pediatric Brain Tumor Program provides comprehensive treatment and management of children with anaplastic astrocytomas.
The terms astrocytoma and glioma are sometimes used interchangeably.
Anaplastic astrocytoma and glioblastoma multiforme, another type of astrocytoma, account for approximately 10 percent of pediatric central nervous system tumors.
It occurs with increased frequency in families with neurofibromatosis type I, Li-Fraumeni syndrome, hereditary nonpolyposis colon cancer and tuberous sclerosis.
It is diagnosed using several approaches including CT and MRI imaging scans.
How Dana-Farber/Children’s Hospital Cancer Center approaches anaplastic astrocytoma
The usual treatment for anaplastic astrocytomas includes surgery and radiation, and in some cases chemotherapy. The pediatric neuro-oncology and pediatric neurosurgical specialists at Dana-Farber/Boston Children's offer:
The future of pediatrics will be forged by thinking differently, breaking paradigms and joining together in a shared vision of tackling the toughest challenges before us.”