We have four pediatric neuro-oncologists but we don't just work in isolation--we work with seven neurosurgeons, a radiation oncologist, three neurologists, a large number of neuropathologists and neuro-radiologists because everything works best when you put all these experts together.
Mark Kieran, MD, PhD, Boston Children's Hospital
Having a tumor in the brain is always a very serious matter, but today, more than half of all children diagnosed with a brain tumor will be cured of the disease. Tumors are masses of abnormal cells that grow out of control. When these tumors originate in the brain, they can be very complicated to treat because of the delicate surrounding tissue.
While all brain tumors are life-threatening, most children and adolescents who have been diagnosed with one survive into adulthood. Many of them face physical, psychological, social and intellectual challenges related to their treatment, and require ongoing care to help with school and with skills they will use throughout adulthood.
- Brain tumors in children are relatively rare, occurring in only five of every 100,000 children.
- About 2,200 children and adolescents in the United States are diagnosed with a brain tumor each year.
- Brain tumors are commonly treated with surgery and/or other therapies including chemotherapy and radiation.
As you read on, you’ll find an overview of pediatric brain tumors. If you would like to read information about a specific type of brain tumor, click here for a list of conditions we treat.
If your child is cared for at Children’s, he’ll be seen through Dana-Farber/Children’s Hospital Cancer Center, an integrated pediatric oncology program through Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Children’s Hospital Boston that provides—in one specialized program—all the services of both a leading cancer center and a pediatric hospital.
Our pediatric neuro-oncology, neurosurgical and neurology specialists at Dana-Farber/Children’s Hospital Cancer Center offer:
- technological advances, such as the intra-operative MRI, which allow our pediatric neurosurgeons to “see” the tumor as they operate with MRI scans. This allows them to remove as much of the tumor as possible.
- treatment with the best standard of care, including neurosurgery, radiation therapy and chemotherapy
- access to unique Phase I clinical trials run by our own investigators, Children’s Oncology Group, Department of Defense and the Pediatric Oncology Experimental Therapeutics Consortium
Through the Stop and Shop Neuro-Oncology Outcomes Clinic at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, your child will be able to meet with his entire care team during the same follow-up visit.
- Our pediatric brain tumor survivorship clinic is held weekly.
- In addition to meeting with your pediatric neuro-oncologists, neurologist and neurosurgeon, your child may also see one of our endocrinologists or alternative/complementary therapy specialists.
- School liaisons and psychosocial personnel from the pediatric brain tumor team are also available.
- If your child needs rehabilitation, he may also meet with speech, physical and occupational therapists during and after treatments.
Reviewed by Mark W. Kieran, MD, PhD
© Children’s Hospital Boston, posted in 2010
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