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Pontine gliomas

The pontine glioma is a diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma (DIPG) that can only be inhibited but cannot be cured. The pontine glioma is located in the pons; this is part of the brain stem. The diffuse growth habit is characteristic, resulting in a swollen brain stem. It is currently a brain tumor that is still difficult to treat, which means that children with this disease have a low life expectancy.

Symptoms of this disease

The symptoms for a pontine glioma cause neurological failure of the cranial nerves, such as the facial nerve. There may also be a loss of strength in arms or legs.

How do we make the diagnosis?

In case there is suspicion of a pontine glioma, an MRI is performed. The diagnosis can be made on the basis of the images. This does not require a biopsy. 

Treatment of a pontine glioma

Children with a pontine glioma will receive radiotherapy. This treatment is not curative, but palliative, and nowadays the study focuses on the effectiveness of complementary chemotherapy treatments.