Brain Tumor Center Overview

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If your child has been diagnosed with a brain tumor, it is important to understand that these tumors typically do not appear in the same way in children as they do in adults. Also, because children’s brains are rapidly developing, they need treatments from specialists familiar with the complexities of pediatric brain tumors.

Here at Dana-Farber/Boston Children's Cancer and Blood Disorders Center, your child will receive care from many of the world’s most experienced pediatric brain tumor specialists at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and internationally recognized pediatric subspecialists at Children’s Hospital Boston.

Our expertise

  • Our dedicated neuropathologist provides a quick and accurate diagnosis, helping us tailor treatment to your child’s exact type of tumor.

  • Our pediatric neurosurgeons have one of the nation’s few operating rooms with an MRI inside, which means they can simultaneously perform surgery and obtain detailed images to ensure maximum removal of your child’s tumor.

  • Specialized equipment allows our pediatric radiation oncologist to minimize exposure by targeting radiation doses at the tumor, avoiding healthy brain tissue. We have access to the Northeast Proton Beam Center.

  • We use innovative chemotherapy deliver techniques that may minimize your child’s hospital admissions, and we offer unique treatment options through our extensive clinical trial program.

  • Our survivorship experts manage the Stop & Shop Family Pediatric Neuro-Oncology Outcomes Clinic, a special program for survivors of childhood brain tumors.

Did you know? Our advances in care

Dana-Farber/Boston Children's Cancer and Blood Disorders Center was one of the first centers in the country to use adjuvant chemotherapy and perform limb salvage surgery for patients with osteosarcoma.

Medulloblastoma: Actually four different diseases?

Two years ago, Boston Children's Neurologist-in-Chief Scott Pomeroy, MD, PhD, found that medulloblastomas—the most common malignant brain tumor of children—clustered into four distinct types, each with its own survival rate. Now he's found the gene mutations that fuel the subtypes, opening the door to personalizing treatment for these tumors. Learn more.

About Us


The outlook for children with brain tumors has brightened significantly in the past two decades. Thanks to refined surgical techniques and improved chemotherapy and radiation therapy, the majority of children with brain and spinal cord tumors are now long-term survivors.

Here at Dana-Farber/Boston Children's, your child will receive care from many of the world's most experienced and internationally renowned specialists in the treatment of pediatric brain tumors. And our team works to develop care plans that maximize outcomes and offer your child the highest possible quality of life after treatment.

Children treated for brain tumors at Dana-Farber/Boston Children's have access to some of the most advanced diagnostics and therapies, including:

  • quick and accurate diagnosis from our dedicated pediatric neuropathologist

  • access to advanced technologies like the intraoperative MRI, which allows our neurosurgeons to simultaneously perform surgery and obtain detailed images to ensure maximum tumor removal without the need for multiple surgeries

  • advanced pediatric radiation oncology services, including targeted radiosurgery and low-dose radiation therapy, that minimize a child’s exposure to radiation

  • access to New England’s only dedicated pediatric Positron Emission Tomography (PET) scan as well as to PET fusion imaging, which provides precise anatomical and functional images to help guide our treatment decisions

  • chemotherapy delivery techniques that minimize hospital admissions, including outpatient and oral chemotherapy and direct delivery into the tumor site

The most effective pediatric brain tumor care teams are familiar with the complexities of pediatric brain tumors and the treatment challenges they present. At Dana-Farber/Boston Children's, your child’s core team will include the following specialists:

  • pediatric neurologist
  • pediatric neuro-oncologist
  • pediatric neurosurgeon
  • pediatric radiation oncologist

In addition, your child’s cancer care team will draw on the expertise and knowledge of a variety of subspecialists and support staff including:

  • radiologists
  • physical and occupational therapists
  • endocrinologists
  • psychologists and psychiatrists
  • audiologist
  • ophthalmologists
  • Child Life specialists
  • social workers
  • nutritionists
  • complementary medicine specialists
  • school specialists

Here at Dana-Farber/Boston Children's Cancer and Blood Disorders Center, we consider you and your child integral parts of the care team and not simply recipients of care. You and your team will work together to customize a plan of care for your child.



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Dana-Farber/Boston Children's Cancer and Blood Disorders Center

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The future of pediatrics will be forged by thinking differently, breaking paradigms and joining together in a shared vision of tackling the toughest challenges before us.”
- Sandra L. Fenwick, President and CEO