Management of diffuse pontine gliomas in children: recent developments
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The prognosis for children with diffuse intrinsic pontine gliomas (DIPGs) is dismal. Although DIPGs constitute only 10-15 % of all pediatric brain tumors, they are the main cause of death in this group with a median survival of less than 12 months. Standard therapy involves radiotherapy, which produces transient neurologic improvement. Despite several clinical trials having been conducted, including trials on targeted agents to assess their efficacy, there is no clear improvement in prognosis. However, knowledge of DIPG biology is increasing, mainly as a result of research using biopsy and autopsy samples. In this review, we discuss recent studies in which systemic therapy was administered prior to, concomitantly with, or after radiotherapy. The discussion also includes novel therapeutic options in DIPG. Continuing multimodal and multitargeted therapies might lead to an improvement in the dismal prognosis of the disease.