Pediatric brain cancer is the leading cause of cancer-related death of children under 20.  Brain tumors account for

20% of all childhood cancers and 27% of all cancer deaths. 1

Nelina's Hope will dedicate it's resources to advancing pediatric brain cancer research

to improve treatment options and survival rates to give hope to future generations.

Pediatric Brain Cancer types


Pilocytic astrocytoma, Pleomorphic xanthoastrocytoma (PXA)

These types are considered relatively rare, only accounting for 2% of astrocytomas and have expected long-term survial rates. Some tumors can be successfully removed and some can have complete remission. 2

Fibrillary astrocytoma, Oligodendroglioma and mixed Oligoastrocytoma

Accounting for approximately 8% of astrocytomas,these tumors are relatively slow growing and survival rates will depend on type. Surgery can be challenging and recurrence is common. Radiation and chemotherapy are treatment options. 5 year survival rates is approximately 34% without treatment and 70% with radiation. 2

Thalamic and hypothalamic astrocytoma

A low-grade, slow-growing tumor with surgery being primary treatment. Chemotherapy and radiation can also be used as treatment options.There is a high rate of survival expected for these types of tumors.

Anaplastic Astrocytoma

Acounting for 20% of astrocytomas, without treatment of radiation and chemotherapy, expected survival is approximately 18 months. 2

Glioblastoma multiforme (GBM)

GBM is the most common astrocytoma and can spread quickly. Complete surgical removal is impossible and radiation has been shown to improve overall median survival rates. 5 year survival rate is <3%.3,4

Dysembroplastic neuropithela tumor (DNET or DNT)

Considered relatvely rare and commonly misdiagnosed. Typical treatment is surgery with 70-90% sucess rate of removing tumor. 5 Chemotherapy and radiation are not usually considered as treatment. 5

Ganglioglioma and glial neuronal tumors

Considered rare, this slow growing tumor occurs in temporal lobes with surgery being main treatment option. Expected 5 year survival rate is 89%. 6

Optic Nerve (Pathway) Glioma

Long term survival is nearly 90 percent with chemotherapy being considered primary treatment. In some cases, radiation and surgery may be options.

Brainstem tumors (including diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma (DIPG) and tectal glioma)

Considered rare, DIPG is the most common brain stem tumor and it is the most deadly. Expected survival rate <5% within 2 years, with overall survival rate 0%. 

Tectal Glioma is slow growing brain stem tumor with a high cure rate and survival rate.

Neural Tumors

Atypical teratoid rhabdoid tumor (ATRT)

Considered rare, ATRT can occur anywhere in the central nervous system.Surgery is primary treatment, with chemotherapy being second. Depending on the child's age, radiation may be considered.  Overall survival is dependent on several factors but tends to be poor.


Expected survival rate is approximately 60%. Current treatment options of radiation and harsh chemotherapy treatments will result in permanent  damage to nervous system for many children.


Considered extremely rare, these tumors are often removed surgically. The majority will be cured and expected long-term survival is extremely high. Chemotherapy may be used in recurrent tumors.

Primitive neuroectodermal tumors (PNET), pineblastoma, polar Spongioblastoma and medulloepithelioma

These tumors are very rare and primarily occur in the cerebrum. Surgery is primary treatment but complete removal is highly unlikely. Overall 5-year survival rate of PNET is approximately 53%. 7


Craniopharyngioma, Ependymoma and myxopapillary ependymoma, Meningoima, Neurofibroma/Plexiform neurofibroma, Schwannoma (Neurilemoma), Spinal Tumors

    1. McBride ML 1998 Candadian cancer and enviromental contaminants. Canadian Journal of Public Health 89:S53-S62 Suppl 1.

    2. > Astrocytoma

    3. Buckner, Jan C.; Brown, Paul D.; O'Neill, Brian P.; Meyer, Fredric B.; Wetmore, Cynthia J.; Uhm, Joon H. (2007). "Central Nervous System Tumors". Mayo Clinic Proceedings. 82 (10): 1271–86. doi:10.4065/82.10.1271. PMID 17908533

    4. Central Brain Tumor Registry of the United States,

    5. Shen, JunK; Guduru, Harsha; Lokannavar, HarishS (2012-01-01). "A Rare Case of Dysembryoplastic Neuroepithelial Tumor". Journal of Clinical Imaging Science. 2 (1). doi:10.4103/2156-7514.102057. PMC 3515966 [Freely accessible] . PMID 23230542

    6. Lang, F. F.; Epstein, F. J.; Ransohoff, J.; Allen, J. C.; Wisoff, J.; Abbott, I. R.; Miller, D. C. (1993-12-01). "Central nervous system gangliogliomas. Part 2: Clinical outcome". Journal of Neurosurgery. 79 (6): 867–873. doi:10.3171/jns.1993.79.6.0867. ISSN 0022-3085. PMID 8246055

    7. Smoll, N. R. (2012). "Relative survival of childhood and adult medulloblastomas and primitive neuroectodermal tumors (PNETs)". Cancer. 118 (5): 1313–1322. doi:10.1002/cncr.26387. PMID 21837678