Non-Therapeutic Protocol

NBTP02: Comprehensive Molecular Analysis of Tumor Samples Derived from Patients with Diffuse Brainstem Glioma - A Pilot Study

Type of Protocol/Clinical Study

Associated Solid Tumor Studies


Participants in this research study have a brain tumor (cancer) called brainstem glioma. Most brainstem gliomas consist of a type of tumor called diffuse brainstem glioma.  In the majority of patients, the diagnosis of diffuse brainstem glioma is based on characteristics seen in the magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Surgery is not normally recommended when the tumor aspect by MRI is typical because the brain stem is a very critical part of the brain and surgery in this area is risky, but also because we assume that typical tumors by MRI likely represent gliomas. In some cases, surgery may be recommended when the child’s tumor looks different than the usual appearance, which may suggest that this is a different type of cancer. Despite treatment with radiation therapy and chemotherapy, the chances of being cured from a diffuse brainstem glioma are quite small.

Very little is known about the genetic make-up of brainstem gliomas because hardly ever pieces of these tumors are available for genetic studies. We hope that by better understanding the genetic make-up of brainstem gliomas, we may come up with better ways to treat affected patients. In those cases when surgery is recommended for the benefit of the patients, participants in this research and their families will be asked to allow any left-over pieces of the tumor to be used for research purposes. For research participants who pass away from these tumors, we will ask consent from parents/family to perform an autopsy limited to the brain for research purposes. In the autopsy, pieces of the tumor and normal brain will be collected to study their genetic make-up.



Eligible research participants consist of St. Jude and non-St. Jude patients.

Principal Investigator

Alberto Broniscer, MD

The above information is intended to provide only a basic description about a research protocol that may be currently active at St. Jude. The details made available here may not be the most up-to-date information on protocols used by St. Jude. To receive full details about a protocol and its status and or use at St. Jude, a physician must contact St. Jude directly.