How are pediatric brain tumors treated?
Your child’s treatment plan will depend on the type, location and size of the tumor, as well as other factors such as your child’s age and overall health. Our team will work together, and with you and your child’s other healthcare providers, to create a treatment plan specifically for your child. Treatment may include:
- Surgery to remove the tumor. Our surgeons are skilled in the most advanced techniques to remove brain tumors without damaging nearby tissue and structures.Usually, surgery is the first step, to make a definitive diagnosis, and achieve maximal safe resection, which is critically important.
- Radiation therapy, including proton therapy, which delivers appropriate doses of radiation to control and manage cancer while significantly reducing damage to healthy tissue and vital organs. Miami Cancer Institute was among the first centers in the United States to offer this treatment. In children who require craniospinal irradiation, proton therapy has enormous value. For some children, radiosurgery techniques might be required, and we offer these using state-of-the-art platforms, such as Cyberknife® and Gammaknife®.
- Chemotherapy to control microscopic disease, shrink the tumor and prevent new ones from forming. Chemotherapy uses medicine that goes through the body to kill cancer cells wherever they are. Children who undergo chemotherapy at Miami Cancer Institute can choose from a variety of interactive experiences in our child-friendly Infusionarium.
- A ventriculoperitoneal (VP) shunt to drain excess fluid from inside the brain to the abdomen.
If needed, your child may also receive:
- Steroids to reduce brain swelling.
- Antiseizure medication to treat or prevent seizures
Because treatment can be confusing and stressful for children, our child life specialists are on hand to answer questions and help ease anxiety.
Miami Cancer Institute can provide access to clinical trials not widely available elsewhere. Clinical trials find new ways to treat and diagnose cancer and are ongoing. If an appropriate trial is available, we will talk to you about the benefits and risks.
A multidisciplinary team of cancer experts including surgeons, medical oncologists, radiation oncologists, plastic reconstructive surgeons, pathologists, radiologists, genetic counselors, medical geneticists, social workers, patient navigators and clinical trials staff meet weekly to discuss select complex cases and determine the best course of care. Stem cell transplantation experts and hematologic oncology experts are also available to discuss complex cases.
Pediatric Support Services
Our Pediatric Support Center team addresses the social and emotional needs of your child and provides support to the whole family, including siblings. We provide a compassionate environment, engaging activities and a range of complementary therapies to make sure your child remains psychologically healthy during the treatment process and beyond.
Miami Cancer Institute designed a space where kids can receive the necessary treatments while being immersed in a technological experience that positively affects their outcomes. The Infusionarium uses virtual reality and live feeds to connect patients to an experience that can help ease the effects of chemotherapy.