Academy Colloquium on the state of the art in diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma. Participation is by invitation only. The Academy Colloquium is followed by a masterclass for PhD students on 9 March 2013.
Diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma (DIPG) is a tumor located in the pontine region of the brainstem, the lower part of the brain that connects the cerebrum with the spinal cord. Pontine gliomas represent 80% of all brainstem gliomas and predominantly affect infants and children.
DIPG has the worst prognosis of any newly diagnosed childhood cancer with a median overall survival rate of approximately 9 months after diagnosis and a two-year survival of less than 10%. Despite several treatment strategies, including the use of hyperfractionated irradiation or conventional radiotherapy followed by different chemotherapeutic regimens, prognosis of DIPG patients has not improved in the past 40 years.
However, times are changing: there now is more interest in these type of tumors, and research in this field is developing rapidly. Especially the recent reintroduction of stereotactic biopsy sampling of diffuse pontine tumors has opened a whole new era of exciting opportunities for DIPG research, both on the molecular level and from a clinical point of view.