The Pediatric Neuro-Oncologists team at Riley Hospital for Children at Indiana University Health is committed to the care of the individual child and family.
Every year about 3,000 children in the United States are diagnosed with brain and spinal cord tumors (also known as central nervous system tumors). Children with brain and spinal cord tumors treated at Riley Hospital for Children at IU Health/IU Simon Cancer Center are evaluated and treated by experienced and highly trained pediatric specialists from neurology, neurosurgery, oncology, radiology, neuropathology, radiation therapy, psychology, social work and rehabilitation medicine, who work together to deliver the best treatment options for each patient.
Riley at IU Health is a National Cancer Institute (NCI)-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center as well as a Phase 1-designated member of the Children's Oncology Group (COG), which is a national pediatric oncology research Consortium. This participation, in addition, in Indiana University Institutional research gives patients access to new developments and treatments for brain tumors.
Symptoms of brain tumors will lead to comprehensive evaluation by our pediatric neuro-oncology specialists. They will perform a thorough neurological exam and order imaging tests to locate the problem. Referral from our pediatric neuro-oncology specialists to a brain tumor surgeon or neuro-surgeon will be made if necessary, and experienced pediatric neuropathologists will examine tissue using a CT scan or an MRI scan and develop a diagnosis to determine the kind of tumor present.
Treatment and chance of recovery (prognosis) for childhood brain tumors depend on the tumor type, extend of disease spread, location of tumor, the age of the child, and the general condition of the individual. Treatment options are available for all children who have brain tumors.
At Riley at IU Health, the approach to the care for children with brain tumors include a team of medical experts who specialize in treatment children who have brain tumors in addition to cutting-edge treatment facilities giving patients the best chance for success.
Treatment options for a New Diagnosis include:
- VP Shunt
For a Recurrent Diagnosis, treatment option include:
- A New Plan of Treatment
- Research and Experimental Therapies
Long-term outlook and follow-up care for a child with a brain tumor
The care for children with brain tumors requires multidisciplinary monitoring and interventions to maximize the long-term function of each child. In additional to serial tumor surveillance with imaging studies children undergoing treatment for a brain tumor as well as brain tumor survivors may need to be followed by consultant services who work closely as part of the Riley brain tumor program at Riley at IU Health.
These consultant services may be required to address a wide range of areas, including:
- Intellectual function (Neuropsyometrics)
- Endocrine evaluation and treatment (Endocrinology)
- Neurologic assessment and seizure control (Neurology)
- Psychosocial care (As part of the brain tumor program at Riley at IU Health, we have a dedicated clinic integrated into brain tumor clinic to provide Psychosocial and Psychiatric services. This includes dedicated pediatric oncology social workers as well as a neuropsychology and cognitive rehabilitation clinic staffed by Dr. Anne Kledzig and Michelle Thorne.)
- Hearing, vision (Audiology)
- Ovarian dysfunction
- Motor Function (Physicial Medicine and Rehab)