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Cause of DIPG/DMG

For decades, little was understood about DIPG/DMG tumors. However, in recent years, researchers have gained the ability to analyze tissue due to the increased safety of brainstem biopsies.

DIPG is not known to be hereditary, meaning it is not passed down from parent to child. The genetic mutations that cause DIPG are also not known to be environmentally influenced, meaning there is nothing a parent did or did not do that caused DIPG to occur in their child. 

DIPG is a classic example of a developmentally based tumor because it is influenced by particular cells that are present in the highest concentrations while the brain is developing. This theory is supported by the fact that DIPG/DMG most often occurs during middle childhood, a period in which the brain develops significantly.

Although researchers have made tremendous strides in understanding DIPG/DMG in the last several years, the disease structure is complex, and more research is needed to fully understand the cause of the tumor formation.