DIPG/DIPT Discussion

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A searchable blog on DIPG research, DIPG news, recent publications, DIPG Foundations, DIPG researchers, clinical trials as well as other issues relating to Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Tumors- both Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Gliomas (DIPGs) and Atypical Pontine Lesions (APLs).

For parents, family and friends of children with DIPG looking for information and connection to others dealing with DIPG please check the buttons on the right hand side for resources.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Is Biopsy Safe in DIPG? An Institutional Experience

This spring abstract season which means one can comb through the abstracts to find the newest research being presented- sometimes more than a year before publication.   The hope in finding and highlighting relevant meeting abstracts is to significantly shorten that time period in figuring out who is doing what.  

On of the meetings with potential is the 26th Annual American Society of Pediatric Hematology and Oncology (ASPHO) Anual  Meeting being held in Miami from April 24-27.   With all the different pediatric blood and cancer disorders, I don't usually expect much success in looking for brain tumor abstracts let alone DIPG.   This year, though,  I was surprised by abstract 750 (page S67):
Is Biopsy Safe in Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma?
An Institutional Experience

The surprise didn't end there.   Although the institutions is one of the collaborators for the multi-institutional trial with molecular determination for treatment by upfront biopsy,  it is not one that has been obviously on the forefront of the US biopsy debate- Children's Hospital of Michigan in Detroit.  

These authors report on 22 newly diagnosed children with DIPG between 2002 and 2012.    Stealth guided biopsies were performed in 68% of the cases.   There were no deaths related to biopsy.  Three of the fifteen children undergoing biopsy has transient issues post-operative which resolved within two weeks.   The issues included one child developed a facial nerve palsy, one child has some speech difficulty and extremity weakness and the third has ataxia and swallowing difficulties.

All biopsies showed gliomas (grade 2-4). 

The authors conclude that biopsy at their institution has been relatively safe and the resulting tissue will allow for molecular profiling which may lead to targeted therapy and perhaps in the future prolonged survival or a cure.

So, why is the percentage of biopsy so high at this institution?   These authors report a case of theirs in which a child was found to have a PNET tumor rather than a glioma.   Subsequently, biopsy is considered in the majority of these tumors at diagnosis.

Molecularly Determined Treatment of Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma