Juvenile pilocytic astrocytomas are tumors that form from astrocytes, star-shaped cells that maintain brain and spinal cord health. At Columbia University Medical Center/NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital, we specialize in diagnosing and treating juvenile pilocytic astrocytomas using the most advanced tools and techniques. Learn more about treatment on our brain tumor surgery page here.
This page covers juvenile pilocytic astrocytomas of the brain. Read about spinal astrocytomas on our Spine Hospital page here.
Juvenile pilocytic astrocytomas tend to occur in children and adolescents, but can sometimes occur in adults. (For this reason, they are sometimes called just pilocytic astrocytomas). They belong to a group of tumors known as astrocytomas, which all arise from astrocytes. On a scale of one to four, the World Health Organization grades tumors according to their speed of growth and ability to invade nearby tissues. The lower the grade, the less aggressive the tumor. Juvenile pilocytic astrocytomas tend to grow slowly. Thus they are labeled as Grade I, the least aggressive, and are considered benign.
Juvenile pilocytic astrocytomas can grow anywhere in the brain and spinal cord. Most often they develop in one of the following locations:
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