Tumors of The Brain in Kids: Current, Insights From Biology, and Plans For The Future

Author(s): Alice Joe

Sadly, many subtypes of brain tumors continue to have poor long-term outcomes, making them the most common solid tumor in children. High-resolution genomic, epigenetic, and transcriptomic profiling, on the other hand, has made remarkable inroads into our comprehension of the molecular underpinnings of these tumors over the past few years. These insights have led to improved tumor categorization and molecularly directed therapies. Medulloblastomas, for example, have historically been classified as either standard-risk or high-risk, but it is now known that these tumors are made up of four or more distinct molecular subsets with distinct clinical and molecular characteristics. Similarly, it is now known that high-grade glioma, which was previously thought to be a single high-risk entity for decades, consists of multiple subsets of tumors with varying patient age, tumor location, and prognosis. For ependymal, which has at least nine distinct subtypes of tumors, the situation is even more complicated. On the other hand, it appears that the majority of Pilocytic Astrocytoma is caused by genetic changes that alter a single molecular pathway that can be targeted for treatment.