Diffuse intrinsic pontine gliomas (DIPG)

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Diffuse intrinsic pontine gliomas (DIPG) are a type of malignant brain tumour. Learn about the symptoms, diagnosis, treatment and outlook for DIPG.

Key points

  • Diffuse intrinsic pontine gliomas are malignant tumors that arise from the pons in the brainstem, at the lower part of the brain.
  • The brainstem controls breathing, heart rate function , the body’s wake-sleep cycle and the cranial nerves.
  • Diffuse intrinsic pontine gliomas are difficult to treat, and complete removal of the tumor is not possible because of their location and their invasive nature.
  • The most common symptoms are crossed eyes, balance problems, muscle weakness on one side of the body, swallowing problems, speech problems, drowsiness, hearing loss, and personality changes.
  • The cause of diffuse pontine gliomas is unknown.
  • The main treatment for diffuse intrinsic pontine gliomas is radiation therapy.
  • Chemotherapy may be given as part of a clinical trial or at a later stage when the tumour is progressing.
  • Your child’s health-care team will support you in your decision making throughout your child’s treatment and offer resources and supports that you and your family can access.
Last updated: September 24th 2021