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Brain Tumor Treatments

We are consistently ranked among the top hospitals in U.S. News & World Report, distinguished for our pediatric care.

At Children’s National, we offer the full range of pediatric brain tumor therapies, including:

  • Surgery
  • Radiation
  • Chemotherapy
  • Targeted therapies

Surgery

As one of the top-rated neurosurgery programs, Children’s National treats children from across the country and all over the world. Our team includes the pioneer of modern day pediatric neurosurgery, Dr. Derek Bruce.

We use minimally invasive procedures whenever possible. Special tools, such as intraoperative imaging, help us perform procedures with an extraordinary level of precision. We are one of few children’s hospitals where this is available.

Radiation

Radiation uses special energy waves to fight cancer. What makes radiation therapy special at Children’s National are those extra steps we take to minimize your child’s risk for complications. We use the lowest possible radiation dose while still ensuring the most effective treatment.

At the cutting edge of pediatric radiation therapy, Children’s National, in collaboration with Sibley Memorial Hospital (Johns Hopkins Medicine), created the first dedicated Pediatric Radiation Oncology Program in Washington, D.C.

Chemotherapy

Chemotherapy uses medications to interfere with cancer cell growth. Unfortunately, chemotherapy is not as effective for brain tumors as it is for other cancers. However, experts at Children’s National have been able to successfully use it for some conditions.

A member of our team developed a way to successfully treat neurofibromatosis and visual pathway gliomas using a specific combination of chemotherapy medications. This approach is now considered the standard of care around the world. Learn more about our Neurofibromatosis Institute.

Targeted therapies

To help children for whom traditional therapies are not successful, experts at Children's National are exploring promising new treatments through research and clinical trials

These include:

  • Biologics. These medications are made from living things, such viruses and antibodies. We are one of few programs in the country evaluating the effectiveness of biologics for brain cancers, including plexiform neurofibromas
  • Molecularly-targeted drugs. These include medications designed to interfere with tumor cell reproduction at the molecular level. We are actively researching ways to increase the safety and effectiveness of these drugs
  • Cellular therapy. This treatment customizes the body’s immune system to fight cancer and infection. We are one of few centers in the world offering a cellular therapy program for children

Learn more about the promising new treatments available through our Experimental Therapeutics Program.