The lifespan for patients with DIPG or DMG varies. Radiation — the only standard of care — has been shown to improve quality and quantity of life for some but not all. New experimental trials are continuously being initiated in the hopes of prolonging survival.
There are some instances of longer term survival; however, the average survival for a child with DIPG or DMG is about 9-12 months.
About 10% of patients survive for 2 years following their diagnosis. Less than 2% survive for 5 years or more. Longer term survival can sometimes be noted in children younger than 3 or older than 10 years of age. The prognosis of thalamic DMG is slightly better than DIPG, but this is a subtle difference and not one that is fully understood by most clinicians.
In recent years, due to analyses of DIPG tumor specimens as well as more upfront tissue sampling, researchers’ understanding of the biology of these tumors has significantly improved, leading to more experimental treatments that are showing promise.