Pilocytic Astrocytoma

What is a pilocytic astrocytoma?

A pilocytic astrocytoma is a brain tumor that originates from star-shaped cells called astrocytes. Astrocytes are a kind of glial cell, cells that support and nourish neurons in the brain. An astrocytoma is a type of glioma, and pilocytic astrocytomas are low-grade gliomas—a family of slow-growing tumors that arise from glial cells. They are the most benign and most treatable of the gliomas, with a cure rate of over over 90 percent.

How we approach pilocytic astrocytomas at Dana-Farber/Boston Children's

Children with pilocytic astrocytomas 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 pilocytic astroctyomas on the Dana-Farber/Boston Children's website, including answers to:

  • What are the symptoms of pilocytic astrocytomas?
  • How are pilocytic astrocytomas diagnosed?
  • How are pilocytic astrocytomas treated?
  • What is the latest research on pilocytic astrocytomas?
  • What is the long-term outlook for children with pilocytic astrocytomas?