Disease progression is a worsening, growth, or spread of the disease and can happen at any time after initial diagnosis or treatment.
You may also hear the term pseudoprogression. Pseudoprogression is the appearance of a new or enlarged area of tumor growth that can be due to radiation, immunotherapy, or necrosis of the tumor. This is seen in some brain tumors, especially after initial treatment, and can happen weeks to months after radiation treatment is done. However, this may not be true tumor growth and can decrease or stabilize without a change in therapy.
Disease progression can occur more than one time, and treatment options will differ depending on the number of progressions and prior treatments received.
In some cases, there could be a second round of radiation therapy called re-irradiation. Re-irradiation can be performed with fewer treatments than initial radiation therapy and usually occurs 6 months or more after the initial radiation treatment ended. Occasionally, a third round of re-irradiation is also considered for long-term survivors of DIPG/DMG.
In addition to re-irradiation, there are numerous clinical trials that specifically focus on progressive disease. These trials may help slow tumor growth.