Facts About Pediatric Cancer
- Cancer is the number one disease killer of children in America – more than Cystic Fibrosis, Muscular Dystrophy, Asthma and AIDS combined.
- Every day 36 children in the U.S. are diagnosed with cancer. Of those 9 are diagnosed with a brain tumor.
- Research for rare pediatric cancers need critical funds by private foundations and philanthropic organizations like ours. At this time, brain cancer research is underfunded and the public remains unaware of the magnitude of this disease.
- We may spend 3-5 times the amount of research money per patient on most adult cancer cases than we do on children with cancer.
- The funding for pediatric cancer clinical trials has gone down every year since 2003, and is currently $26.4 million. By comparison, NCI funding for AIDS research was $254 million in 2006; funding for breast cancer topped $584 million the same year.
DIPG Fast Facts
- Diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma (DIPG) is a type of brain tumor found in the pons, part of the brainstem on the lower back of the brain, near the top of the spinal cord.
- DIPG makes up 10-15% of all brain tumors in children, with about 100-150 new diagnoses per year in the United States and about 300 per year in all of North America and Europe.
- DIPG is the most common cause of death due to brain tumor in children. Most diagnoses occur between 5 and 7 years of age.
- Unlike many other pediatric cancers, there has been little progress in improving treatments and cure rates for DIPG over the last three decades. Unfortunately, fewer than 10% of children with DIPG survive two years from diagnosis
- Most studies show median survival of less than 1 year from diagnosis.
- Currently there is no known cause or effective treatments for DIPG. So far, there is no evidence that DIPG is caused by any environmental factor, such as exposure to chemicals or radiation. There is also no evidence yet that specific inherited genetic variations contribute to DIPG.
- Researchers are working hard to understand the causes of DIPG, which should help them to design better treatments for the disease.