Pediatric high grade glioma: A review and update on tumor clinical characteristics and biology

Jason Fangusaro*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

75 Scopus citations


High grade gliomas (HGG) are one of the most common central nervous system (CNS) tumors encountered in adults, but they only represent approximately 8-12% of all pediatric CNS tumors. Historically, pediatric HGG were thought to be similar to adult HGG since they appear histologically identical; however, molecular, genetic, and biologic data reveal that they are distinct. Similar to adults, pediatric HGG are very aggressive and malignant lesions with few patients achieving long-term survival despite a variety of therapies. Initial treatment strategies typically consist of a gross total resection (GTR) when feasible followed by focal radiotherapy combined with chemotherapy. Over the last few decades, a wealth of data has emerged from basic science and pre-clinical animal models helping to better define the common biologic, genetic, and molecular make-up of these tumors. These data have not only provided a better understanding of tumor biology, but they have also provided new areas of research targeting molecular and genetic pathways with the potential for novel treatment strategies and improved patient outcomes. Here we provide a review of pediatric non-brainstem HGG, including epidemiology, presentation, histology, imaging characteristics, treatments, survival outcomes, and an overview of both basic and translational research. An understanding of all relevant pre-clinical tumor models, including their strengths and pitfalls is essential in realizing improved patient outcomes in this population.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberArticle 105
JournalFrontiers in Oncology
Volume2 AUG
StatePublished - 2012


  • High grade glioma
  • Pediatric
  • Review

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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