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 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.

Keyword(s): BRAFNF1pilocytic astrocytomaRAF1

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  • Article Type: Review Article
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