Low-grade Gliomas | Diagnosis & Treatment

How are low-grade gliomas diagnosed?

To diagnose a low-grade glioma, your doctor will take your child's medical history and carry out both physical and neurological exams. Your doctor may also order a variety of tests, including:

    After all tests are completed, doctors will be able to outline the best treatment options.

    What are the treatment options for low-grade gliomas?

    Our treatment approach for pediatric gliomas is personalized for each patient depending on several factors, including the tumor's type, stage and location. Some therapies will treat the tumor while others are intended to address complications of the disease or side effects of the treatment. In addition, our clinicians may offer access to targeted treatments based on the molecular profile of your child's tumor. Some of the options your doctor may discuss include:

    We also offer innovative brain tumor clinical trials for children with low-grade gliomas. Some of these were launched by our own physicians, while others are available through our participation in collaborative groups such as the Children's Oncology Group (COG) and the Pacific Pediatric Neuro-Oncology Consortium (PNOC).

    What long-term care will my child need?

    Many brain tumor survivors face physical, psychological, social and intellectual challenges related to their treatment and will require ongoing assessment and specialized care.

    To address the needs of this growing community of brain tumor survivors, Dana-Farber/Boston Children's established the Stop & Shop Family Pediatric Neuro-Oncology Outcomes Clinic. This multi-disciplinary program addresses long-term health and social issues for families and survivors of childhood brain tumors.

    The Outcomes Clinic follows more than 1,000 pediatric brain tumor survivors of all ages, providing such services as:

    • MRI scans to monitor for tumor recurrences
    • intellectual function evaluation
    • endocrine evaluation and treatment
    • neurologic assessment
    • psychosocial care
    • hearing, vision monitoring
    • ovarian dysfunction evaluation and treatment
    • motor function evaluation and physical therapy
    • complementary medicine

    As a result of treatment, children may experience changes in intellectual and motor function. Several programs address these needs, among them the School Liaison and Back-to-School programs, which provide individualized services to ease children's return to school and maximize their ability to learn. In addition to providing thorough and compassionate care, Outcomes Clinic specialists conduct innovative survivorship research and provide continuing education for staff, patients and families.