A dysembryoplastic neuroepithelial tumor (DNET or DNT) is a benign (non-cancerous), slow-growing brain tumor. It is a glioneuronal tumor, which means it contains properties of both glial cells (responsible for providing the structural support of the central nervous system) and neuronal cells (the functioning component of the central nervous system).
Children with dysembryoplastic neuroepithelial tumors (DNETs) are treated at Dana-Farber/Boston Children's Cancer and Blood Disorders Center through the Brain Tumor Center, a world-renowned destination for children with malignant and non-malignant brain and spinal cord tumors. Our brain tumor specialists have extensive expertise in treating all types of glial and neural tumors, including DNETs. Our patients receive care from neuro-oncologists, neurosurgeons, neurologists, and pediatric subspecialists.
While each child may experience symptoms differently, and symptoms may vary depending on the size and exact location of the tumor, the most common symptom for DNET is the presence of seizures that are difficult to control with anti-seizure medication. In fact, it’s not uncommon for children to have their first seizure before age 10 and then continue to experience them for several years before the diagnosis is made.
DNET tumors are found in the cerebrum, which is the part of the brain that controls thought, movement and sensation, so your child may experience other symptoms that relate to those functions.
If your child’s doctor suspects your child may
have a dysembryoplastic neuroepithelial tumor, she may order diagnostic tests
The most common DNET treatment is to remove
the tumor surgically. Because it is a benign tumor, and prognosis is good even
if not the entire tumor is not removed, radiation and chemotherapy are not
U.S. News & World Report ranked Dana-Farber/Boston Children's the #1 pediatric cancer hospital in the nation.