A diagnosis of a new brain or spinal cord tumor in your child can be the most frightening experience of your life as a parent. Where to go for evaluation and care at the beginning can be the most important decision you make.
When you bring your child to NewYork-Presbyterian you will immediately notice the difference in experience and compassion. Your child will benefit from researchers, doctors, nurses, and other specialists dedicated to continually improving the care of patients with these cancers.
Our brain and spinal tumor programs, operating across NewYork-Presbyterian Morgan Stanley Children’s Hospital and NewYork-Presbyterian Komansky Children’s Hospital, are distinguished by a comprehensive, multidisciplinary approach and excellent success in the use of innovative options. Those include world-class, minimally invasive surgery and extend into targeted treatment options centered on precision medicine and drug delivery approaches.
We are dedicated to getting our young patients back to their normal childhoods by maximizing the impact of treatment while reducing potential risks, giving them the best chance to both survive and thrive.
About Our Program
In a field of rapidly advancing techniques and technologies, NewYork-Presbyterian is at the forefront of innovation in the treatment of brain and spinal tumors to improve the quality of life of children diagnosed with these conditions. We understand the challenges faced by young patients with brain and spinal tumors and their families. Innovative research and a better understanding of brain tumor biology are essential for progressing against these cancers.
Our multidisciplinary teams of specialists include clinician-researchers who are propelling the field of brain and spinal tumors forward with innovative multi-tiered research efforts. These efforts aim to treat the most difficult brain and spine tumor cases in children—many considered untreatable elsewhere.
Recognizing that every child with a brain or spinal tumor has a unique set of symptoms, circumstances, and needs, we take a holistic approach to your child’s care that considers the whole person, including his or her physical, emotional, and social factors. We strive to partner with patients and their parents in shared decision-making, empowering them with knowledge, support, and the most effective treatment options that will enable your child to reach the highest quality of life.
Our Approach to Care
At NewYork-Presbyterian, we are dedicated to finding the safest, most effective, and most innovative approaches to diagnosing and treating brain and spinal tumors that address your child’s individualized needs.
Our pediatric brain and spinal programs are directed by highly trained clinicians with specific areas of expertise. From the moment of diagnosis, our team of pediatric neurologists, pediatric neurosurgeons, radiation therapists, neuroendocrinologists, and oncologists customize a treatment plan for your child. Nurses, child life specialists, social workers, and others are vital team members who deliver and support your child’s care. Your child’s team selects and manages the most effective combination of therapies.
Personalized therapies for your child’s brain/spinal tumor
When we design a brain or spinal tumor treatment regimen for your child, we aim to choose therapies that are as effective as possible while minimizing the risk of long-term side effects. Your child’s treatment may include surgery, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, investigational therapies, or a combination.
Through the Children’s Brain Tumor Project at NewYork-Presbyterian Komansky Children’s Hospital and the Precision in Pediatric Sequencing (PIPseq) program at NewYork-Presbyterian Morgan Stanley Children’s Hospital, we can identify the molecular fingerprint of your child’s tumor, yielding genetic data that enables us to personalize their therapy. This approach can potentially propel pediatric brain tumor care to new levels of success.
Armed with individual genetic information, our researchers hope to identify alternative delivery methods and drugs specifically targeting each child’s tumor, such as anticancer agents delivered directly to tumors via microcatheters (tiny tubes inserted into the tumor).
Seamless, Coordinated Care
Treatments for brain tumors, such as radiation therapy, can adversely impact a child’s long-term health and well-being. We’re committed to returning your child to a normal childhood—maximizing the effectiveness of their treatment while reducing potential risks so your child can have the best chance of experiencing normal growth.
We understand it can be challenging to juggle appointments and manage all the different aspects of your child’s care. To provide seamless, efficient care, our patient care coordinators manage all the specialty consultations and steps required to care for your child. Our coordinators help arrange any necessary appointments, explain treatments, and review your child’s care timeframe. We also help coordinate the care provided by our team with your child’s pediatrician.
Why Choose Us
A unique program and registry for rare pediatric brain tumors
The Children’s Brain Tumor Project at the Weill Cornell Pediatric Brain and Spine Center is dedicated to improving children’s outcomes with rare pediatric brain tumors by advancing scientific discovery and clinical research focusing on molecular targeted therapy, effective drug delivery, and low treatment-related toxicity.
A key part of the project is the Gliomatosis Cerebri Registry, which provides a central database of gliomatosis cerebri (GC) cases worldwide, aggregating data on medical history, diagnostics, genomics, treatments, and outcomes. This enables our physicians to consult with other physicians and researchers worldwide about individual cases of GC diagnosed in other hospitals. It also provides a central place for patients and families confronting the diagnosis to find support and comfort from others.
Transforming brain tumor care through novel research
Our Columbia and Weill Cornell Medicine investigators at NewYork-Presbyterian are conducting studies on novel drug delivery methods that safely and non-invasively cross the blood-brain barrier to focally deliver drugs to inoperable pediatric brain tumors such as diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma (DIPG), glioblastoma, and relapsed malignant brain tumors (medulloblastoma, ependymoma, high-grade glioma).
Seamless access to resources and support services
At NewYork-Presbyterian, patients and families have seamless access to our vast resources, including on-staff neuropsychologists who offer testing and treatments for emotional and cognitive issues that may occur after a brain disorder. We also have a parent-to-parent program that can connect you personally with a parent whose child has been treated for the condition your child has.
Trust NewYork-Presbyterian for Pediatric Brain and Spinal Cord Tumor Care
Our pediatric neurologists and neurosurgeons are at the forefront of care for children with brain and spinal cord tumors, offering the most advanced approaches. Schedule an appointment for a consultation with a NewYork-Presbyterian’s pediatric neurology team specialist. Our multidisciplinary approach ensures each patient is offered an optimal treatment plan that considers the whole child.