Concise review of stereotactic irradiation for pediatric glial neoplasms: Current concepts and future directions

World J Methodol. 2021 May 20;11(3):61-74. doi: 10.5662/wjm.v11.i3.61.


Brain tumors, which are among the most common solid tumors in childhood, remain a leading cause of cancer-related mortality in pediatric population. Gliomas, which may be broadly categorized as low grade glioma and high grade glioma, account for the majority of brain tumors in children. Expectant management, surgery, radiation therapy (RT), chemotherapy, targeted therapy or combinations of these modalities may be used for management of pediatric gliomas. Several patient, tumor and treatment-related characteristics including age, lesion size, grade, location, phenotypic and genotypic features, symptomatology, predicted outcomes and toxicity profile of available therapeutic options should be considered in decision making for optimal treatment. Management of pediatric gliomas poses a formidable challenge to the physicians due to concerns about treatment induced toxicity. Adverse effects of therapy may include neurological deficits, hemiparesis, dysphagia, ataxia, spasticity, endocrine sequelae, neurocognitive and communication impairment, deterioration in quality of life, adverse socioeconomic consequences, and secondary cancers. Nevertheless, improved understanding of molecular pathology and technological advancements may pave the way for progress in management of pediatric glial neoplasms. Multidisciplinary management with close collaboration of disciplines including pediatric oncology, surgery, and radiation oncology is warranted to achieve optimal therapeutic outcomes. In the context of RT, stereotactic irradiation is a viable treatment modality for several central nervous system disorders and brain tumors. Considering the importance of minimizing adverse effects of irradiation, radiosurgery has attracted great attention for clinical applications in both adults and children. Radiosurgical applications offer great potential for improving the toxicity profile of radiation delivery by focused and precise targeting of well-defined tumors under stereotactic immobilization and image guidance. Herein, we provide a concise review of stereotactic irradiation for pediatric glial neoplasms in light of the literature.

Keywords: Gamma knife; Linear accelerator; Pediatric glioma; Radiosurgery; Stereotactic irradiation; Stereotactic radiosurgery.

Publication types

  • Review