Stages of Childhood Astrocytomas
Key Points for This Section
- The grade of the tumor.
- Whether the tumor is newly diagnosed or recurrent (has come back after treatment).
The following grades are used:
- Grade I tumors– pilocytic tumors, which form like a cyst and look almost like normal cells.
- Grade II tumors–fibrillary tumors, with cells that look long or like fibers.
There are many types of low-grade astrocytomas. Several types of low-grade astrocytomas are discussed in this summary:
- A visual pathway glioma is a type of low-grade astrocytoma that forms along the optic nerve pathway.
- A subependymal giant cell astrocytoma is a type of low-grade astrocytoma that may occur in children with tuberous sclerosis.
Children who have neurofibromatosis type 1 may have more than one low-grade tumor in the brain.
- Grade III tumors– anaplastic or malignant tumors.
- Grade IV tumors– glioblastoma, which spreads the fastest.
Childhood astrocytomas usually do not spread to other parts of the body.