Essential Management of Pediatric Brain Tumors
Brain tumors are the most common solid tumors in children and are associated with high mortality. The most common childhood brain tumors are grouped as low-grade gliomas (LGG), high grade gliomas (HGG), ependymomas, and embryonal tumors, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). Advances in molecular genetics have led to a shift from pure histopathological diagnosis to integrated diagnosis. For the first time, these new criteria were included in the WHO classification published in 2016
... nd has been further updated in the 2021 edition. Integrated diagnosis is based on molecular genomic similarities of the tumor subclasses, and it can better explain the differences in clinical courses of previously histopathologically identical entities. Important advances have also been made in pediatric neuro-oncology. A growing understanding of the molecular-genetic background of tumorigenesis has improved the diagnostic accuracy. Re-stratification of treatment protocols and the development of targeted therapies will significantly affect overall survival and quality of life. For some pediatric tumors, these advances have significantly improved therapeutic management and prognosis in certain tumor subgroups. Some therapeutic approaches also have serious long-term consequences. Therefore, optimized treatments are greatly needed. Here, we discuss the importance of multidisciplinary collaboration and the role of (pediatric) neurosurgery by briefly describing the most common childhood brain tumors and their currently recognized molecular subgroups.