The Glioma Program

The Glioma Program

The Glioma Program focuses on the treatment of children with both low-grade and high-grade (‘malignant’) glial tumors.  Examples include:

  • Astrocytomas
  • Oligodenrdogliomas
  • Glioblastoma multiform
  • Brain stem gliomas 

Direction of Efforts

The goal of our efforts is to:

  1. Further our understanding of the biology of these tumors, and  thereby design specific means to attack and destroy them
  2. Develop more effective and less damaging treatment strategies for these tumors
  3. Develop more specific tools for evaluating and predicting response to treatment

Study Participation

The Program has a long history of being major participants in the national Children's Cancer Group (now Children's Oncology Group) nationwide studies for children with these uncommon brain tumors.

New Treatment Studies

The Program is currently directing two new treatment studies for children with newly diagnosed malignant gliomas and brain stem tumors, both using the drug combination of irinotecan and temozolomide, either without irradiation (for children less than six years of age) or concomitant with irradiation for children above six years of age at diagnosis.

The hospital currently has open a limited-institution study of thiotepa, carboplatin and temzolomide with autologous peripheral blood stem cell rescue for patients with all types of recurrent malignant brain tumors, including malignant gliomas, provided the patients can be first brought to a state of minimal residual tumor burden, either through surgery and/or drug treatment.

Dr. Anat Erdreich-Epstein, a pediatric oncologist with a major laboratory research commitment to understanding how tumors use angiogenesis (blood vessel formation) to enhance their survival - and therefore how to overcome this mechanism with anti-angiogenesis agents, has recently received substantial grant support for her laboratory work from the National Cancer Institute.