Desmoplastic Infantile Ganglioglioma, Childhood Tumor: Introduction

Approved by the Cancer.Net Editorial Board, 10/2018

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). Use the menu to see other pages. Think of that menu as a roadmap for this complete 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 one side of the brain, can be very large, and is much more common for children younger than 18 months. Many times, DIG may have started very early in childhood or even before a child 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 that 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. Use the menu to choose a different section to read in this guide.