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Diffuse Midline Glioma

Tumour Group:
Gliomas and Pediatric Brain Tumours
WHO Grade:
Diffuse Midline Glioma (formerly diffuse intrinsic brainstem gliomas (DIPG)) are generally high-grade tumours
15 to 20% of all pediatric brain tumours are brainstem gliomas.
Typical Age Range:
Occur most often in children between three and ten years of age, but can occur in adults. Around 75% of brainstem gliomas are diagnosed in children and young adults under the age of 20, but they have been known to affect older adults as well.

Tumour Characteristics

Brainstem gliomas start in the brain or spinal cord tissue and are very unlikely to spread throughout the nervous system. The tumour type is named for its location at the base of the brain. Diffuse Midline Glioma are generally high-grade tumours that infiltrate through the entire substance of the brain stem.


Common symptoms include, but are not necessarily limited to:

  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Double vision
  • Facial weakness
  • Headaches
  • Nausea
  • Speech or balance abnormalities
  • Weakness or numbness of the arms and/or legs

Treatment/Standard of Care

Surgery may not be an option, especially with a diffuse intrinsic brainstem glioma, because the brainstem controls vital life functions and can easily be damaged. More often, these tumours are treated with radiation therapy and sometimes chemotherapy.

Radiation therapy can reduce symptoms and help slow the tumour’s growth.


A prognosis is an estimate of the likely progress of a disease after a diagnosis, based on an average patient group. Since every person is different, please take time to talk with your health care team about how this information applies to you.

By clicking on 'expand', a statistic on the prognosis for Diffuse Midline Glioma will be shown.