Brain Tumor Institute (Neuro-Oncology Program) Contact number | 202-476-2140

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Leaders in Treating Pediatric Brain Cancer

The Brain Tumor Institute's physicians are recognized as world leaders in pediatric neuro-oncology.

Meet the team

The Brain Tumor Institute at Children’s National is a recognized leader in pediatric brain tumor research and treatment. In fact, our multi-specialty team is regularly called upon to care for or provide second opinions to patients from all over the U.S. and around the world. 

At the Brain Tumor Institute, we offer the only exclusive access to Phase I clinical trials in Washington, DC, Virginia, and Maryland through our participation in multiple research groups. This gives your child the most advanced treatment options available.

Children’s National Cancer Program: Brain Tumor Institute

The Brain Tumor Institute at Children’s National evaluates more than 100 new patients every year. We provide continuing care for hundreds of others. Using a unique approach, experts in both neurology and oncology closely collaborate on the care of each child. Your child will benefit from specialists in both fields throughout their treatment experience.

Caring for the full range of brain tumor conditions, we offer a level of expertise that few centers can match. Features of our program include:

  • Brain tumor specialists: Our large team includes renowned experts in all aspects of brain tumor care. Learn more about the team.
  • Precision diagnosis: In addition to offering the full range of diagnosis and imaging techniques, Children’s National is home to one of the country’s foremost neuro-oncology pathologists. This helps each child receive a precision diagnosis.
  • Innovative care: Our extensive research efforts give your child access to the most advanced care and treatments. This includes new medications that are only available in a handful of centers. Learn more about our Experimental Therapeutics Program.
  • Safety: We are one of only a few programs across the country exploring the safety and effectiveness of brain tumor treatments. This work includes reducing radiation levels whenever possible.
  • Quality of life: Our child-centered approach includes neuropsychologists who continuously monitor the effects of treatment on your child’s cognitive development. Learn more about neuropsychology at Children’s National.
  • Family-centered care: You know your child best. This is why we include you and your family in all treatment decisions. Our team is experienced in helping families make the best decisions for their child’s unique needs.

Brain tumors are the most common pediatric solid tumor. They occur in nearly 4,000 children every year. Unfortunately, they are also the leading cause of cancer-related death in children. We offer a range of innovative brain tumor treatments to aggressively fight your child’s cancer and give him or her the best chance for a long and happy life.

Pediatric Brain Tumor Research at Children’s National

Our research is advancing the level of care available to children with brain tumors. We offer the only exclusive access to Phase I clinical trials in Washington, DC, Virginia, and Maryland through our participation in prestigious research groups. These include the Children’s Oncology Group and Pediatric Brain Tumor Consortium.

We discuss with you the possibility of enrolling your child in one of our clinical research programs. Physicians and dedicated research nurses work with your family to help you understand the risks and benefits of participating. Learn more about our cancer research and clinical trials.

The Brain Tumor Institute Team at Children’s National

We are one of the few programs in the country where experts in neurology and neuro-oncology consult each other on all aspects of brain tumor care. Your child will benefit from specialists in both fields throughout their treatment experience, as well as additional subspecialists when necessary. This comprehensive approach ensures the best possible care for your child.

The Brain Tumor Institute partners with the Center for Cancer and Immunology Research to provide your child access to additional pediatric brain tumor experts who specialize in:

Our comprehensive team works together to decide on the best care for your child. We communicate with each other regularly through tumor boards and joint clinics, and we keep you at the center of the care team all along.

Additionally, the Brain Tumor Institute is closely integrated with related programs at other regional hospitals and institutions, including:

  • The National Institutes of Health (Pediatric Oncology and Radiation Oncology)
  • The University of Virginia Health System, Charlottesville
  • Inova Fairfax Hospital

Contact Us

For more information or to make an appointment, call us at 202-476-2140 or meet the team.  

    Debbie Lafond's Story

    Debbie Lafond

    Debbie Lafond began her career at Children’s National in 1991 as a clinical coordinator of the IV therapy team, and joined the department of Hematology/Oncology a year later as an advanced practice clinician.

    Debbie Lafond's Story

    Brain Tumor Institute (Neuro-Oncology Program) Team

    In This Section:

    Brain Tumor Diagnosis

    Children’s National ensures a precision diagnosis for each patient, thanks to our dedicated brain tumor pathologists and advanced imaging studies.

    Brain Tumor Treatments

    Children’s National is the only program in the Washington, D.C. area treating all forms of pediatric brain cancer with a broad range of innovative treatments.

    Contact Information

    Have a question about a specific disease or condition or treatments or services we offer?

    Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma (DIPG) Program

    There are more than 300 cases in the U.S. each year, but its relative rarity actually makes fighting DIPG more challenging. There is little federal research funding for the study of “rare pediatric” diseases, and many oncologists don’t have specialized experience with DIPG or its treatments.


    We see children locally and globally who need the kind of specialized expertise and child-focused care we offer.

    Meet the Team

    Our providers represent medical and surgical specialties, family practice, and general pediatrics.

    Related Care Services

    Pediatric specialists work closely to ensure an integrated approach to care for each child and family.

    Resources for Families

    We offer resources for families to help answer questions and ease your child’s hospital experience.