Update on Pediatric Brain Tumors: the Molecular Era and Neuro-immunologic Beginnings


Purpose of Review

To provide an update on the current landscape of pediatric brain tumors and the impact of novel molecular insights on classification, diagnostics, and therapeutics.

Recent Findings

Scientific understanding of the genetic basis of central nervous system tumors has expanded rapidly over the last several years. The shift in classification of tumors to a molecularly based schema, accompanied by a growing number of early phase clinical trials of therapies aimed at inhibiting tumoral genetic and epigenetic programs, as well as those attempting to harness and magnify the immune response, has allowed a deeper pathophysiologic understanding of brain tumors and simultaneously provided opportunities for novel treatment.


Over the last 5 years, there has been tremendous growth in the field of pediatric neuro-oncology with increasing understanding of the genetic and epigenetic heterogeneity of CNS tumors. Attempts are underway to translate these insights into tumor-specific treatments.

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Correspondence to Roger J. Packer.

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Duke, E.S., Packer, R.J. Update on Pediatric Brain Tumors: the Molecular Era and Neuro-immunologic Beginnings. Curr Neurol Neurosci Rep 20, 30 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11910-020-01050-6

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  • Pediatric
  • Brain tumors
  • Neuro-oncology
  • Molecular
  • Immunotherapy
  • Targeted therapy