We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.

Advertiser Disclosure

Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.

How We Make Money

We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently from our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What is a Pontine Glioma?

Mary McMahon
Updated May 17, 2024
Our promise to you
WiseGEEK is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At WiseGEEK, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

A pontine glioma is a highly aggressive tumor arising in the pons, an important part of the brain stem. This type of cancer is most commonly seen in children, accounting for as much as 15% of childhood cancers, and the prognosis for the patient is generally very poor, although treatments are available. At the earliest sign of neurological deficits in a developing child, a pediatrician should be consulted, as such symptoms may be a sign of a pontine glioma or another problem and early treatment can make a significant difference in the final outcome of the case.

Children between the ages of five and nine are most likely to develop a pontine glioma. The growth arises in glial cells in the brain stem, which are responsible for controlling movement and gait, and the child may develop generalized weakness, headaches, and poor muscle control. The symptoms tend to onset very quickly, within a matter of weeks, and the child can experience a very rapid decline in physical health as the tumor grows and puts pressure on the brain.

Brain scans will clearly reveal the presence of the tumor. Pontine glioma is not considered operable and it does not respond well to chemotherapy, leaving radiation as the most effective treatment. In radiation therapy, the tumor is bombarded with radioactive material to kill the tumor cells and prevent the cancer from spreading. Radiation therapy can be accompanied with side effects like nausea, vomiting, and hair loss.

This cancer is considered a high grade tumor because it grows quickly and is highly invasive. Many patients do not survive for more than a year with a pontine glioma, even if they initially respond well to treatment. Patients diagnosed with this condition may benefit from seeing a brain cancer specialist, who will have access to the latest information about treatment and management of tumors in the brain. The specialist may also have information about clinical trials.

Participation in a clinical trial can be a good option for a patient with pontine glioma. Most patients enjoy good health prior to the development of the tumor and are considered good candidates for such trials. Being in a trial gives people access to experimental medications and treatments that may improve the prognosis and will, at the very least, contribute to the development of better treatment for cancer patients.

Causes of pontine glioma are not well understood and parents should not blame themselves if their children develop this condition. While environmental factors may play a role and there can be a genetic component, it is likely that nothing could have been done to prevent the development of the tumor.

WiseGEEK is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Mary McMahon
By Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a WiseGEEK researcher and writer. Mary has a liberal arts degree from Goddard College and spends her free time reading, cooking, and exploring the great outdoors.

Discussion Comments

Mary McMahon

Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a...

Learn more
WiseGEEK, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

WiseGEEK, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.