Treatments for Odontogenic Tumors in Children

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Contact the Craniofacial Anomalies Program

  • 1-617-355-6309

How are odontogenic tumors treated?

The type of treatment your child will receive depends on many variables, including whether the tumor is benign or malignant.

Treatment may include: 

  • Surgery — Surgical removal of the tumor is the most common form of treatment. For benign tumors, surgery may be the only therapeutic treatment given.
  • Radiation therapy — This treatment can help stop the growth of abnormal cells in specific areas of the body. Radiation therapy uses high-energy rays (radiation) from a specialized machine to damage or kill abnormal cells.
  • Chemotherapy — This treatment is used in cases of advanced or aggressive tumor growth. This treatment can help stop the growth of abnormal cells throughout the body.
    • Chemotherapy is systemic treatment, meaning it is introduced to the bloodstream and travels throughout the body to kill or slow the growth of targeted cells.
    • Different groups of chemotherapy drugs work in different ways to fight cancer cells and shrink tumors.
    • Often, a combination of chemotherapy drugs is used.
    • Certain chemotherapy drugs may be given in a specific order depending on the type of cancer it is being used to treat.
    • Chemotherapy can be given:
      • as a pill to swallow
      • as an injection into the muscle or fat tissue
      • intravenously (directly to the bloodstream)
      • intrathecally (directly into the spinal column with a needle)
    • While chemotherapy can be quite effective in treating certain cancers, the agents don't completely differentiate normal healthy cells from abnormal cells. Because of this, your child could have adverse side effects during treatment.

What is the recommended long-term care for children treated for an odontogenic tumor?

Your child should visit a survivorship clinic every year to:

  • manage disease complications
  • screen for early recurrence of cancer
  • manage late effects of treatment

A typical follow-up visit may include some or all of the following:

  • a physical exam
  • laboratory testing
  • imaging scans

Through the David B. Perini, Jr. Quality of Life Clinic at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, childhood cancer survivors receive a comprehensive follow-up evaluation from their cancer care team.

  • Our childhood cancer survivorship clinic is held weekly.
  • In addition to meeting with your pediatric oncologists, your child may see one of our endocrinologists, cardiologists, neurologists, neuro-psychologists or alternative/complementary therapy

We also offer the following services:

  • patient and family education
  • psychosocial assessment
  • genetic counseling
  • reproductive and fertility evaluation and counseling
  • opportunities to speak with other childhood cancer survivors
We are grateful to have been ranked #1 on U.S. News & World Report's list of the best children's hospitals in the nation for the third year in a row, an honor we could not have achieved without the patients and families who inspire us to do our very best for them. Thanks to you, Boston Children's is a place where we can write the greatest children's stories ever told.”
- Sandra L. Fenwick, President and CEO

Boston Children's Hospital 300 Longwood Avenue, Boston, MA 02115 617-355-6000 | 800-355-7944

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