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DIPG (Pontine gliomas)

A DIPG or pons glioma is a high-grade glioma. DIPG is also called Diffuse Midline Glioma (DMG). Included within this group are tumors that occur in the thalamus, above the brainstem, and the spinal cord. Every year, approximately 10 children in the Netherlands are diagnosed with DIPG.

The brochure High-grade glioma contains comprehensive information about this disease. Please note this brochure is currently only available in Dutch. The most important information is provided below.


Gliomas are caused by a developmental error in one of the progenitor cells of the supporting cells. Probably something is damaged in the chromosomes or in the DNA of this cell. It is unclear as to what exactly causes gliomas. Sometimes they are caused by a genetic disorder, causing the frequent occurrence of (brain) tumors in a family.


Children with a pons glioma might have a crooked face, be cross-eyed, have double vision and difficulty speaking and/or swallowing. Sometimes they cannot move an arm or leg properly. Increased pressure in the brain can cause headaches and vomiting, balance problems, an unsteady gait and tripping over their own feet.

How is DIPG diagnosed?

An MRI scan is performed and cerebrospinal fluid is drawn under sedation. Sometimes a piece of tissue is removed to obtain information about the tumor cells.


There is currently no curative treatment for DIPG. To reduce the symptoms, children with DIPG receive radiotherapy and medication. Some children can participate in a study (clinical trial) to determine the efficacy of a new drug or treatment.

Chance of recovery

We are currently unable to cure children with DIPG. The life expectancy of most children with this disease is short.


Children and adolescents with DIPG are treated in the neuro-oncology department.