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A glioma is a kind of brain tumor that originates from glial cells, which support and nourish neurons in the brain. Gliomas account for about 25 percent of childhood cancers, and most gliomas are both highly treatable and highly curable. The most common kind of childhood glioma, called a pilocytic astrocytoma, has a cure rate over 90 percent.
Gliomas are divided into four grades, depending on the tumor cells' appearance under a microscope; the higher a tumor's grade number, the more severe it is. Grades 1 and 2 are considered low-grade gliomas and account for about two-thirds of all pediatric tumors. Grades 3 and 4 are considered high-grade gliomas.
Children with gliomas are treated at Dana-Farber/Boston Children's through our Brain Tumor Center's Glioma Program, one of the largest and most experienced pediatric glioma programs in the world. Our glioma specialists—a team of neuro-oncologists, surgeons, pathologists and radiation oncologists—focus solely on the care of children diagnosed with gliomas.
Find in-depth information on childhood gliomas on the Dana-Farber/Boston Children's website, including answers to:
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