Pathological and molecular advances in pediatric low-grade astrocytoma

Fausto J. Rodriguez, Kah Suan Lim, Daniel Bowers, Charles G. Eberhart

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

54 Scopus citations


Pediatric low-grade astrocytomas are the most common brain tumors in children. They can have similar microscopic and clinical features, making accurate diagnosis difficult. For patients whose tumors are in locations that do not permit full resection, or those with an intrinsically aggressive biology, more effective therapies are required. Until recently, little was known about the molecular changes that drive the initiation and growth of pilocytic and other low-grade astrocytomas beyond the association of a minority of cases, primarily in the optic nerve, with neurofibromatosis type 1. Over the past several years, a wide range of studies have implicated the BRAF oncogene and other members of this signaling cascade in the pathobiology of pediatric low-grade astrocytoma. In this review, we attempt to summarize this rapidly developing field and discuss the potential for translating our growing molecular knowledge into improved diagnostic and prognostic biomarkers and new targeted therapies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)361-379
Number of pages19
JournalAnnual Review of Pathology: Mechanisms of Disease
StatePublished - Jan 2013


  • BRAF
  • NF1
  • Pilocytic astrocytoma
  • RAF1

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine


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