Research & Innovation
The pediatric neurosurgeons at Children’s Hospital Boston offer the most recent technological advances, such as the intra-operative MRI, which allows them to visualize the tumor as they operate and remove as much of it as possible.
We also have access to high-tech imaging, such as PET , CT and functional MRI, which enable us to understand exactly where the tumor tissue is, and to map out surgeries and treatments that minimize risk to healthy brain tissue.
In addition, Children’s also offers stereotaxic radiosurgery (SRS) when appropriate. SRS is a form of targeted radiation therapy and is not true surgery. The therapy uses a highly focus and targeted beam of energy to deliver radiation to a very small area, sparing healthy tissues from exposure as much as possible.
What is the latest research on ependymoma?
We are a member of the Pediatric Oncology Therapeutic Experimental Investigators Consortium (POETIC), a collaborative clinical research group offering experimental therapies to patients with relapsed or refractory disease. We’re also the New England Phase I Center of the Children’s Oncology Group. Children with progressive or recurrent ependymomas may be eligible for experimental therapies available through these consortiums.
Currently, our researchers are examining genetic markers on tumor cells that may help predict how well children will do with treatment and how effective different treatment strategies may be.
For more information on current research, see the Brain Tumor Program [LINK: Main Brain Tumor Program Page].
It’s possible that your child will be eligible to participate in one of Children’s current clinical trials. These studies are useful for a multitude of reasons: Some trials are designed to evaluate the effectiveness of a particular drug, treatment or therapy on a specific disease; others help doctors to better understand how and why certain conditions occur. At any given time, Children’s has hundreds of clinical trials underway.
Researchers at Dana Farber/Children’s Hospital Cancer Center are currently investigating the long-term effects of treatment and ways to reduce radiation therapy in order to minimize these effects.
To search for a cancer trial at Dana Farber/Children’s Hospital Cancer Center, go to: http://www.dana-farber.org/Research/Clinical-Trials/Clinical-Trials-by-Diagnosis.aspx?did=49
To search the NIH’s list of clinical trials taking place around the world, go to: http://www.clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/search