Automated tissue characterization is one of the major applications of computer-aided diagnosis systems. Deep learning techniques have recently demonstrated impressive performance for the image patch-based tissue characterization. However, existing patch-based tissue classification techniques struggle to exploit the useful shape information. Local and global shape knowledge such as the regional boundary changes, diameter, and volumetrics can be useful in classifying the tissues especially in scenarios where the appearance signature does not provide significant classification information. In this work, we present a deep neural network-based method for the automated segmentation of the tumors referred to as optic pathway gliomas (OPG) located within the anterior visual pathway (AVP; optic nerve, chiasm or tracts) using joint shape and appearance learning. Voxel intensity values of commonly used MRI sequences are generally not indicative of OPG. To be considered an OPG, current clinical practice dictates that some portion of AVP must demonstrate shape enlargement. The method proposed in this work integrates multiple sequence magnetic resonance image (T1, T2, and FLAIR) along with local boundary changes to train a deep neural network. For training and evaluation purposes, we used a dataset of multiple sequence MRI obtained from 20 subjects (10 controls, 10 NF1+OPG). To our best knowledge, this is the first deep representation learning-based approach designed to merge shape and multi-channel appearance data for the glioma detection. In our experiments, mean misclassification errors of 2:39% and 0:48% were observed respectively for glioma and control patches extracted from the AVP. Moreover, an overall dice similarity coefficient of 0:87±0:13 (0:93±0:06 for healthy tissue, 0:78±0:18 for glioma tissue) demonstrates the potential of the proposed method in the accurate localization and early detection of OPG.