The cases of 33 children with hypothalamic-chiasmatic gliomas are reviewed. Radiation therapy produced clinical or radiographic improvement in 11 (46%) of 24 patients. Progression was documented in 18 patients (54%). Overall, the median time to tumor progression was 60 months; it was 70 months in patients who received radiation therapy and 30 months in those who did not (P less than 0.05). Chemotherapy, either given initially or at the time of progression, caused the tumor to respond or to stabilize in 10 patients. Partial resection of the tumor led to improvement in 3 of 12 patients, obviating the need for a shunt in 2 of them; there were no deaths and postoperative morbidity was transient and minimal (diabetes insipidus, intraventricular hemorrhage, and left hemiparesis in one patient each). The 5- and 10-year survival probabilities were 93 and 74%, respectively. Patients with neurofibromatosis had a better prognosis.