Presentation Description: Low-Grade Gliomas (LGG) account for the largest group of childhood brain tumors, representing approximately one third of childhood brain tumors. LGG are usually slow growing, although for reasons that are not completely clear, some of these tumors may show aggressive behavior and/or have erratic growth rates, particularly in young children with hypothalamic/chiasmatic gliomas. Surgery is the treatment of choice for resectable tumors and is often curative in these instances. However, a large number of LGG arise in areas where the role of surgery is limited, due to the morbidity associated with attempts at aggressive resection. Radiation therapy to such tumors has demonstrated evidence of benefit, with objective radiographic responses often for long periods of time, although the use of radiation therapy in young children often results in serious long-term sequelae. It is now clear that chemotherapy can delay or obviate the need for radiation therapy. Over the past decade, the upfront use of chemotherapy has become standard therapy for children and infants with unresectable tumors. This presentation provided an overview of strategies in pediatric LGG, with an emphasis on chemotherapeutic management.
Eric Bouffet, MD
Professor of Paediatrics
University of Toronto, Toronto, ON
Head, Neuro-Oncology section, Division of Haematology/Oncology
The Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto, ON