Brain Tumor Treatment Options

When a surgical approach is recommended for brain tumor treatment in a pediatric patient, the Division of Pediatric Neurosurgery offers a range of treatment options. These complex, delicate procedures require the coordinated efforts of a team of experts from different disciplines who work together to help each child get the best care possible, both during and after pediatric brain tumpr surgery.

Our team includes a wide range of experienced pediatric physicians from such support specialties as:

Customized Treatment Plan

Through a collaborative effort, doctors from different pediatric specialties carefully review each child’s case and design a treatment plan based on:

  • Your child's age, overall health, and medical history
  • If there is a tumor, the type, location, and size
  • If malignant (cancerous), the extent of the disease and expectations for its course
  • Your child's tolerance for specific medications, procedures, or therapies
  • Your family’s preferences

Depending on your child’s diagnosis, brain tumor treatment may include (alone or in combination):

  • Surgery
  • Chemotherapy
  • Radiation therapy
  • Steroids
  • Anti-seizure medication
  • Ventriculoperitoneal shunt
  • Bone marrow transplantation
  • Stem cell transplantation
  • Supportive care
  • Rehabilitation
  • Continuous follow-up care

Minimally Invasive Brain Surgery

Some surgeries can be done using minimally invasive techniques – which are surgeries that are less traumatic to the body than "open" procedures. A decade ago, neurosurgeons at UPMC pioneered two such minimally invasive techniques on adult brain tumors: the Endoscopic Endonasal Approach (EEA) and Neuroendoport®Surgery. EEA may be used to reach tumors and lesions at the base of the skull by operating through the natural openings of the nose and nasal sinuses. Neuroendoport Surgery may be used to reach tumors and lesions deep within the brain. Both procedures may offer fewer complications and faster recovery, with little to no scarring.

Through our seamless collaboration with neurosurgeons at UPMC, the Pediatric Neurosurgery Division of the Brain Care Institute is using these minimally invasive surgical techniques for pediatric patients. These techniques are performed in Children’s Hospital’s state-of-the-art neurosurgical suite that was designed specifically for these procedures. We have had remarkable success with these minimally invasive brain surgeries, and, in many cases, have eliminated the need for open surgical resection.