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What is DIPG?

Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma

(dih-FYOOS in-TRIN-sik PON-teen glee-OH-muh)

A Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma is a tumor located in the pons (middle) of the brain stem. The brain stem is the bottom most portion of the brain, connecting the cerebrum with the spinal cord. The majority of brain stem tumors occur in the pons (middle brain stem), are diffusely infiltrating (they grow amidst the nerves), and therefore are not able to be surgically removed. Glioma is a general name for any tumor that arises from the supportive tissue called glia, which help keep the neurons ("thinking cells") in place and functioning well. The brain stem contains all of the "wires" converging from the brain to the spinal cord as well as important structures involved in eye movements, face and throat muscle control and sensation.

Source: The American Brain Tumor Association. (PDF)