Pediatric Brain Tumor

Nationally Recognized Comprehensive Cancer Center with Renowned Brain Tumor Program

Cancer care is more than medicine. It is about understanding the patient and family needs. At Angie’s Institute at University Hospitals Rainbow Babies & Children’s, we provide personalized, comprehensive care for children suffering from brain tumors.

As a member of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network, an alliance of the world’s leading cancer centers, our patients benefit from the latest scientific information and guidelines. We invest in innovative technologies, like Ohio’s only proton therapy center, and employ lifesaving techniques. We are a leading resource in the nation in the fight against cancer and consistently rank among the top cancer centers in the country in U.S. News & World Report. Patient outcomes at the UH Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospital are among the best in the nation.

From your first appointment through survivorship, our highly specialized, multi-disciplinary team is dedicated to helping pediatric patients and families battle this challenging brain cancer prognosis. Within our system of care, patients have access to expertise across the various clinical areas impacted by brain tumors. This collaborative approach not only addresses the diagnosis and treatment phases of care, but also encompasses rehabilitation, counseling, social work and survivorship program. We combine aggressive clinical treatment with social and emotional support services to provide our patients the most comprehensive cancer care.

Brain Tumors in Children

A brain tumor is an abnormal growth of tissue in the brain. Children with certain genetic conditions have an increased risk for a brain tumor as do children who have had radiation therapy for other cancers of the head.

Brain tumor symptoms depend on the size and location of the tumor. As growing tumors may cause pressure on the brain, children may experience severe headaches, vision problems or nausea. While most isolated symptoms are unrelated to a brain tumor, a combination of headache, vomiting, lethargy and sometimes changes in vision could be an indicator of a more serious issue.

Some of the types of brain tumors we treat include:

  • Acoustic neuromas
  • Astrocytomas
  • Ependymomas
  • Glioblastomas
  • Gliomas, including mixed and brain stem
  • Medulloblastomas
  • Meningiomas
  • Oligodendrogliomas
  • Optic nerve gliomas
  • Skull base tumors

Lifesaving Innovative Treatment for Children with Brain Tumors

We use innovative therapies and treatments to fight even the most complex cases. Our brain tumor experts work closely with other specialists to offer many of the most advanced brain cancer treatment technologies available in the nation.

Every tumor is different, and our brain tumor experts develop a personalized treatment plan for every child or young adult. Treatment options include minimally invasive brain surgery techniques, intraoperative MRI for better visibility and precision during surgery and access to the UH Proton Therapy Center – the first center in Ohio and the region to offer proton therapy. Proton therapy is a painless procedure. It precisely targets the tumor while sparing surrounding healthy tissue. This is especially critical for young, growing bodies because it can reduce the risk of developing radiation-induced secondary cancers years after treatment is completed.

With the addition of advanced proton therapy, University Hospitals joins an elite few in the nation to offer every radiation therapy available to fight cancer, including:

  • NeuroBlate® technology: A minimally invasive approach that is especially effective in treating glioblastoma, one of the most aggressive and difficult to treat types of brain cancer.
  • CyberKnife®: A painless, noninvasive robotic radiation technology that gives patients new hope for treatment of tumors previously considered untreatable or inoperable.
  • Gamma Knife radiosurgery: A noninvasive procedure that delivers a high dose of radiation to a targeted area, while sparing surrounding tissue.

Access to these advanced technologies reduces young patients’ risk for longer-term cancer effects. These can include problems with brain function like changes in memory or attention, blood vessel and heart issues and secondary cancers.

We also offer patients a comprehensive neurofibromatosis (NF) clinic. NF is a genetically inherited disorder that causes tumors to form on the brain, spinal cord or nerves. Patients with NF have a predisposition towards developing brain tumors. Our preventative-centered approach and screening protocols help catch these diseases early.

Our Brain Tumor Experts Are Here to Help You

Because the brain sends signals to the entire body, your child could be impacted by complications and complexities that may seem unrelated to the brain. We have an extensive team of specialists in our clinic to ensure we proactively monitor and mitigate potential issues. You can see all the specialists you need, all in one place. Our team is made up of fellowship-trained, board-certified physicians and experts including:

Long-term Surveillance and Survivorship Support

We understand the lifelong impact that young cancer survivors face. After cancer has been treated and cured, health issues may arise years or even decades later. Our specialists understand the continuing challenges linked with surviving cancer, especially those specific to a brain tumor.

At the Center for Survivors of Childhood Cancer, our experts realize that someone who was diagnosed with a brain tumor must watch out for very different complications than someone diagnosed with a different cancer. These risk areas include brain function and brain development, hormone function, and risk of secondary cancers. Our team has the highly targeted expertise necessary to monitor and manage potential complications.

Our team’s goal is to help all children and young adults diagnosed with brain tumors to live healthy and full lives, well beyond treatment. In addition to clinical surveillance, our survivorship programs include:

No matter the age a patient is diagnosed with a brain tumor, our collaborative system of care ensures an effective and smooth transition into adult care.