Brain Tumor Program
The Brain Tumor Program at Texas Children’s Cancer Center is one of the largest of its type in the country, focused on children and adolescents. We treat approximately 140 new pediatric brain tumor patients each year from all over the world, many of whom cannot be treated anywhere else.
Brain tumors are the most common type of solid tumors in children, but that doesn’t make it any easier when this diagnosis is first made. Fortunately, the Brain Tumor Program at Texas Children’s Cancer Center is here to help.
Our treatment team
Many physicians contribute to the care of a child with a brain tumor. Neurosurgeons, medical and radiation oncologists, neuroradiologists, neuropathologists and neurologists discuss each newly diagnosed patient at a weekly conference to determine the most appropriate treatment plan for each child. A team of nurse practitioners, nurses, neuropsychologists, endocrinologists, ophthalmologists, social workers, child life specialists and physical and rehabilitation specialists complete the multidisciplinary team which ensures that all aspects of care for our patients and families are addressed.
We believe that caring for the psychosocial and emotional needs of our patients and families are just as important as the medical care they receive. The Brain Tumor Program offers comprehensive support services for the entire family, including: support groups for patients, parents and siblings; psychosocial and pastoral support; teen retreats, recreational camps and education/learning support.
We use the most modern diagnostic neuro-imaging modalities, functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and proton radiation therapy. We also use state-of-the-art operating microscopes and technology to determine the true extent of infiltrating tumors. Our specialists in cancer genetics and genomics investigate any hereditary causes for the development of cancer and, based upon the results, counsel families accordingly. The Brain Tumor Program is seamlessly joined with our Long Term Survivor Program, which is staffed by experienced physicians who continue to monitor children treated for a brain tumors long after the treatments are completed.
Clinical trials and novel therapies
The Brain Tumor Program develops and participates in national and international research studies and clinical trials, allowing us to treat our patients with the latest and most innovative therapies. Our investigators are leaders in the development of new drugs, sophisticated radiotherapy approaches and the application of other novel approaches to brain tumor therapy.
We are leaders in the development of personalized medicine based on genome sequencing of each patient's tumor. This enables us to deliver targeted therapies that are unique to each individual patient, with the potential for greater efficacy and fewer side effects.
Innovative trials harnessing the patient's immune system by modifying the immune cells to target the patient's own tumor cells are underway at our center. This strategy, when combined with conventional cancer therapies, has the potential to increase cure rates for some of the most malignant brain tumors.
We are a founding member and one of only 10 sites of the Pediatric Brain Tumor Consortium (PBTC), a member of the Pacific Pediatric Neurooncology Consortium and a founding member of the Southern Pediatric Neuroncology Consortium (SOPNOC). In addition, we are a member of the Children’s Oncology Group (COG) and have access to innovative experimental protocols through the COG Phase I Consortium.
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