Desmoplastic Infantile Ganglioglioma, Childhood Tumor: Introduction

Approved by the Cancer.Net Editorial Board, 11/2016

ON THIS PAGE: You will find some basic information about this disease and the parts of the body it may affect. This is the first page of Cancer.Net’s Guide to Desmoplastic Infantile Ganglioglioma (DIG). To see other pages, use the menu. Think of that menu as a roadmap to this full guide.

Desmoplastic infantile ganglioglioma, or DIG, is a rare type of brain tumor that can occur during childhood. A tumor begins when healthy cells change and grow out of control, forming a mass. A tumor can be cancerous or benign. A cancerous tumor is malignant, meaning it can grow and spread to other parts of the body. A benign tumor means the tumor can grow but will not spread.

DIG is a type of glioma, a tumor that starts in the glial cells, which are supportive cells in the brain. It usually occurs on 1 side of the brain, can be very large, and is more common for children younger than 1. DIG is made up of more than 1 type of cell and also contains cysts. It is thought that DIG can sometimes begin before a baby is born.

DIG was originally classified as a low-grade, slow-growing tumor that is usually noncancerous. However, in some instances, the tumor grows more quickly and is more likely to spread to other parts of the brain or body; this is called a high-grade tumor (see Stages and Grades).

This section covers DIG diagnosed in children. Learn more about brain tumors in adults.

Looking for More of an Introduction?

If you would like more of an introduction, explore this related item. Please note this link will take you to another section on Cancer.Net:

  • Cancer.Net Patient Education Video: View a short video led by an ASCO expert in childhood cancer that provides basic information and areas of research.

The next section in this guide is Statistics. It explains that DIG is rare. Or, use the menu to choose another section to continue reading this guide.