Navigation Links
St. Jude Finds Young Age May Give Survival Advantage to Children With Certain Brain Tumors

The improved survival of children under 3 years old with diffuse pontine glioma compared to older children suggests that the biological properties of this cancer may be distinct in young patients

MEMPHIS, Tenn., May 29 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- St. Jude Children's Research Hospital investigators have shown that children under 3 years old who have a brain tumor called diffuse pontine glioma (DPG) appear to have a better outcome than older children with the same cancer.

Results of the study, which appear in the advance online publication of the journal "Cancer," are important because clinicians have long believed that DPG was universally fatal. Moreover, it was assumed that clinicians had simply misdiagnosed the disease in children who responded to treatment and survived.

"Our findings show that children under 3 years with DPG can potentially respond better to treatment than older children," said Alberto Broniscer, M.D., assistant member in the St. Jude Department of Oncology and the paper's first author. "Unlike other previous studies in young children where the diagnosis of DPG was based on either CT scans or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), the diagnosis of all our patients was based on MRI only. CT scans are not able to differentiate between DPG -- a tumor that occurs in the brainstem -- and other tumors, which originate in the same area with a better prognosis."

The researchers reviewed the medical records of 10 patients under 3 years of age with DPG. The median age of these patients was 2.2 years, and the median time between symptom development and actual diagnosis was 2.5 months. All children had the diagnosis of DPG based on radiological review of their MRIs at diagnosis.

All of the children received treatment -- two with radiation, six with radiation plus chemotherapy, and two with chemotherapy only. Four of the children died, but six have survived for at least two years following this therapy, which is ineffective in older children with similar tumors. Based on these findings, the St. Jude team calculates that 45 percent of children under 3 years treated for DPG will survive for at least three years without experiencing tumor growth, and 69 percent of such children will survive.

From these results, the investigators concluded that distinct biological characteristics of DPG in children under 3 years compared to older children might account for their better response to radiation and chemotherapy. The researchers point to a similar finding with a type of glioma that originates in the cerebrum: Young children with high-grade gliomas originating in the cerebrum seem to have a better prognosis when compared to older children. Different biological properties also seem to play a role in the latter case.

Brainstem gliomas account for 10 to 15 percent of all brain tumors in children; and DPGs account for 80 percent of brainstem tumors in childhood. Although MRI revolutionized the diagnosis of DPG, no significant improvements have occurred in its treatment in children during the past 20 years, according to St. Jude researchers. The long-term survival of children with DPG has remained less than 10 percent despite treatment with radiation and chemotherapy.

The St. Jude team is now collecting tumor samples and performing extensive molecular analyses in order to gain a better understanding of the biology of DPGs in children. "We believe that the more we learn about DPGs, the more likely we will be able to design more effective treatments for children of all ages with this tumor," Broniscer said.

Other authors of the paper include Fred H. Laningham, Larry E. Kun, David W. Ellison and Amar Gajjar (St. Jude) and Robert P. Sanders (formerly of St. Jude).

This work was supported by a Cancer Center Support CORE grant from the National Institutes of Health, Musicians Against Childhood Cancer, the Noyes Brain Tumor Foundation, the Ryan McGhee Foundation and ALSAC.

St. Jude Children's Research Hospital

St. Jude Children's Research Hospital is internationally recognized for its pioneering work in finding cures and saving children with cancer and other catastrophic diseases. Founded by late entertainer Danny Thomas and based in Memphis, Tenn., St. Jude freely shares its discoveries with scientific and medical communities around the world. No family ever pays for treatments not covered by insurance, and families without insurance are never asked to pay. St. Jude is financially supported by ALSAC, its fundraising organization. For more information, please visit

SOURCE St. Jude Children's Research Hospital
Copyright©2008 PR Newswire.
All rights reserved

Related medicine technology :

1. Replikins LLC Finds West Nile Virus Replikin Count Has Reached Its Highest Recorded Value
2. First Osteoporosis Study in Hip Fracture Patients Finds Once-Yearly Reclast(R) Prevents Additional Fractures and Improves Survival
3. Mayo Clinic Study Finds FDA Warning Against Anti-Nausea Drug Droperidol Unnecessary
4. Review of Probiotic Trial Research Finds Only Bifantis(R) Able to Claim Efficacy versus Placebo for IBS Symptoms
5. New Report by Pediatricians Finds Gaps in Preparing to Protect Kids From Pandemic Flu, Offers Recommendations
6. UPDATE: New Report by Pediatricians Finds Gaps in Preparing to Protect Kids From Pandemic Flu, Offers Recommendations
7. Study Finds Starion Instruments Tissue Welding Technology Reduces Pain and Bleeding in Tonsillectomy Patients
8. Providence Hospital Study Finds Communication System Leads to Faster Heart Attack Treatment
9. Retrospective Analysis Finds That Initiation of Insulin Glargine in Patients With Type 2 Diabetes was Associated With a Lower Incidence Rate of Myocardial Infarction as Compared With NPH Insulin
10. St. Jude Finds Molecule That Could Improve Cancer Vaccine and Therapy for Other Diseases
11. Study Finds Fever may Lead to Improved Behavior in Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders
Post Your Comments:
(Date:11/30/2015)... , Nov. 30, 2015 iCAD, ... it will feature its latest solutions for advanced ... identification of cancer at the Radiological Society of ... Chicago from November 29 to ... product advances including iReveal®, an automated breast density ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... Varian Medical Systems (NYSE: VAR ) has signed a Memorandum ... Group, the largest hospital chain in India , ... the country. The MoU was signed by Dr. K. Prabakar ... , Varian,s India managing director, in ... Varian intends to deploy its Access to Care program by leveraging ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... 2015  Precision Image Analysis Inc. (PIA), a ... announce a dramatic expansion of its capabilities as ... its ISO-9001:2008 certification for its Quality Management System, ... protocols and procedures. This expansion enables PIA to ... Core Lab services include design and optimization of ...
Breaking Medicine Technology:
(Date:11/30/2015)... York (PRWEB) , ... November 30, 2015 , ... In ... of his role as a top ophthalmologist on Long Island’s east end. During the ... teaching, innovations in surgery and treatment of glaucoma and cataracts, and how a visit ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... CASPER, Wyo. (PRWEB) , ... November 30, 2015 , ... ... is watching a family member, close friend, or animal pass away, death lives among ... tough moments. , Coming from a family of 11 children, author T Sky ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... ... 2015 , ... Sikka Software announced today that they are showcasing the Sikka ... make complex business decisions by providing the tools and information they need to grow ... 10 procedures customized by zip code. , The Sikka Software Ecosystem includes over ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... , ... November 30, 2015 , ... ... alliance around Novus’ TIGR® Matrix Surgical Mesh technology for soft tissue repair in ... TIGR® Matrix is a long-term resorbable surgical mesh intended to support and reinforce ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... ... November 30, 2015 , ... SIMmersion’s ability to ... the medical schools of the future. To reach an audience of key visionaries ... ChangeMedEd conference in Chicago, organized by the American Medical Association. , AMA ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):