International Panel of Pediatric Brain Cancer Experts find Consensus on how to best integrate the growing body of molecular genetic information into tumor classifications and, more importantly, for future treatment standards for PLGG patients.

For the past decade, it has been recognized that pediatric low-grade gliomas (LGGs) and glial-neuronal tumors carry distinct molecular alterations with resultant aberrant intracellular signaling in the Ras–mitogen-activated protein kinase pathway. But until now, there has been little coordination of information to help guide treatment options for PLGG patients.  However, in September 2015, the first Pediatric Low Grade Glioma Consensus Conference was convened in Bethesda, Maryland, under the leadership of co-chairs, Dr. Mark Kieran (Dana Farber Cancer Institute) and Dr. Roger Packer (National Children’s Health System) along with world-renowned experts from 6 different countries (US, Italy, Netherlands, Canada, Germany, England) representing 15 distinct medical institutions to provide targeted guidance and appropriate medical management of this most common form of childhood brain cancer.  At the meeting there was uniform agreement that molecular characterization must be incorporated into classification and is increasingly critical for the most effective treatment management. Molecular-targeted therapy trials should be integrated expeditiously, but also carefully into the management of these tumors and success should be measured not only by radiographic responses or stability, but also by functional outcomes. These trials need to be carried out with the caveat that the long-term impact of molecularly targeted therapy on the developing nervous system, especially with long duration treatment, is essentially unknown.  But further exploration is warranted.

To read more, please see the recent article published in Neuro-Oncology magazine, August 2016 entitled Pediatric Low Grade Gliomas: Implications of the Biologic Era.

Roger Packer, MD

Roger Packer, MD

Mark W. Kieran, MD, PhD

Mark W. Kieran, MD, PhD