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High-grade gliomas

A high-grade glioma is a tumor in the brain, brainstem, or spinal cord. Every year, approximately 10 children in the Netherlands are diagnosed with a high-grade glioma. This brain tumor occurs in children of all ages.

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.


Most children have been unwell for some time, are nauseous, vomit or have headaches. Other symptoms include crossed eyes, difficulty swallowing or speaking, difficulty writing, dizziness and impaired motor skills.

How are high-grade gliomas diagnosed?
An MRI scan is performed and cerebrospinal fluid is drawn under sedation.


Children with a high-grade glioma are treated according to a protocol drawn up by national and international experts. If possible, surgery is performed first, often followed by radiotherapy. Radiotherapy is postponed for as long as possible for young children because of the risk of long-term effects.
Major surgery is out of the question in the event of a diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma (DIPG); however, a biopsy is a common option. The treatment team strives to temporarily reduce the symptoms by means of radiotherapy and/or (experimental) drugs.

Chance of recovery

By and large, children with a high-grade glioma stand a moderate chance of recovery. There is currently no curative treatment for diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma (DIPG).


Children and adolescents with a high-grade glioma are treated in the neuro-oncology department.

Phone 088-9727272