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School of Medicine
What are Pilomyxoid Astrocytomas (PMA)?
A type of brain cancer largely seen in children, PMAs were first identified by pathologist Peter Burger, M.D., and colleagues at the Johns Hopkins Hospital in 1999 [PubMed ID:10515229]. These cancers often were classified with other brain tumors called pilocytic astrocytomas, but the Johns Hopkins experts noted a difference in some of the patients’ samples, and a new type of brain cancer emerged. Now recognized by the World Health Organization as a distinct type of glioma, PMAs can occur anywhere in the brain but most often in the optic pathway or the hypothalmus. They tend to be more aggressive than pilocytic astrocytomas and are characterized by similar cellular shape and surrounding "myxoid" matrix. The incidence of PMAs is currently unknown, but the number of cases is growing as PMAs are increasingly recognized by pathologists.
Why Join the Johns Hopkins PMA Registry?
Despite the growing recognition of PMA, scientists understand little about the natural behavior of this tumor, its response to different treatments, and the long-term outlook for patients with PMA. The Johns Hopkins PMA Registry will gather information over time from patients’ families and their physicians about the tumors’ presentation, treatment, and response to those therapies. The Registry will provide a growing resource to patients, families and physicians with the goal of refining current treatments and developing new ones.
How to Join
If you or your child has been diagnosed with a PMA, we welcome your participation in the Registry. To learn more about the Registry requirements and to consider enrollment, please download the form and follow the instructions.
If you have questions regarding the Registry, please contact Kenneth Cohen at 410-614-5055.