Pediatric brain tumors are masses or growths of abnormal cells that occur in the brain or the tissue and structures that are near it. Many different types of pediatric brain tumors exist. Some pediatric brain tumors are noncancerous (benign), and some pediatric brain tumors are cancerous (malignant).

Treatment and chance of recovery (prognosis) depend on the tumor type, its location within the brain, whether it has spread, and your child's age and general health. Because new treatments and technologies are continually being developed, several options may be available at different points in treatment. Pediatric brain tumor treatment is tailored to the individual needs of your child and your family.

  • Specialists in children's health care. The treatment of brain tumors in children can be very different from treatment in adults. In Mayo Clinic’s Pediatric Brain Tumor Clinic, specialists work together to deliver the most effective treatment for your child. A pediatric neuro-oncologist specializing in brain tumors typically will be your child's primary doctor. This doctor will coordinate access to other specialists from the brain tumor treatment team, including neurology, neurosurgery, neuroradiology, pediatric endocrinology, neuropathology, radiation oncology, pediatric oncology, psychology and brain rehabilitation.
  • Experience. Mayo Clinic specialists treat many types of pediatric brain tumors, including the more common types and the rare types. Types of pediatric brain tumors treated at Mayo Clinic include medulloblastoma, primitive neuroectodermal tumors, ependymoma, gliomas, germ cell tumors, infant brain tumors, spinal cord tumors and craniopharyngiomas.
  • Expertise. Mayo neurosurgeons have extensive experience in tumor removal in both adults and children. Surgery removes all or part of the tumor while minimizing damage to healthy tissue. Mayo Clinic's expertise in computer-assisted brain surgery allows neurosurgeons to precisely locate tumors and remove them using the safest and least invasive route possible. Brain-mapping techniques, intraoperative MRI and awake brain surgery help surgeons operate without injuring critical areas of the brain.
  • Access to clinical trials. Mayo Clinic is a member of the Children's Oncology Group. This large collaboration among hospitals gives children with brain tumors access to clinical trials that offer the latest in treatments for childhood cancers.
  • Comprehensive cancer center. Mayo Clinic Cancer Center meets strict standards for a National Cancer Institute comprehensive cancer center, recognizing scientific excellence and a multispecialty approach focused on cancer prevention, diagnosis and treatment.

Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., ranks #1 for neurology and neurosurgery in the U.S. News & World Report Best Hospitals rankings. Mayo Clinic in Scottsdale, Ariz., is ranked among the Best Hospitals for neurology and neurosurgery, and Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, Fla., is ranked high performing for neurology and neurosurgery by U.S. News & World Report.

At Mayo Clinic, we assemble a team of specialists who take the time to listen and thoroughly understand your health issues and concerns. We tailor the care you receive to your personal health care needs. You can trust our specialists to collaborate and offer you the best possible outcomes, safety and service.

Mayo Clinic is a not-for-profit medical institution that reinvests all earnings into improving medical practice, research and education. We're constantly involved in innovation and medical research, finding solutions to improve your care and quality of life. Your doctor or someone on your medical team is likely involved in research related to your condition.

Our patients tell us that the quality of their interactions, our attention to detail and the efficiency of their visits mean health care — and trusted answers — like they've never experienced.

Why Choose Mayo Clinic

What Sets Mayo Clinic Apart

Mayo Clinic works with hundreds of insurance companies and is an in-network provider for millions of people. In most cases, Mayo Clinic doesn't require a physician referral. Some insurers require referrals or may have additional requirements for certain medical care. All appointments are prioritized on the basis of medical need.

Specialists in neuro-oncology at Mayo Clinic in Florida treat people 16 years and older, but may see younger teenagers on a case-by-case basis. Younger teenagers may also be seen in conjunction with Nemours Children's Clinic in Jacksonville.

For appointments or more information, call the Central Appointment Office at 904-953-0853 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Eastern time, Monday through Friday or complete an online appointment request form.

At Mayo Clinic in Minnesota, pediatric specialists in neuro-oncology, neurology, neurosurgery, radiology, endocrinology, radiation oncology, psychology and brain rehabilitation, along with other specialists as needed, work together to determine the treatment plan for each child. The primary site for treatment of children and adolescents with brain tumors is the T. Denny Sanford Pediatric Center at Mayo Clinic in Minnesota.

For appointments or more information, call Mayo Clinic Children's Center at 855-MAYO-KID (855-629-6543), toll-free, 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Central time, Monday through Friday.

For appointments or more information, call the Central Appointment Office at 507-538-3270 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Central time, Monday through Friday or complete an online appointment request form.

See information on patient services at the three Mayo Clinic locations, including transportation options and lodging.

The Mayo Clinic Cancer Center receives funding from the National Cancer Institute and is designated as a comprehensive cancer center — a recognition for an institution's scientific excellence and multidisciplinary resources focused on cancer prevention, diagnosis and treatment. Mayo Clinic Cancer Center is one of only three cancer centers to receive a National Cancer Institute-sponsored Specialized Program of Research Excellence (SPORE) grant for brain cancer research.

Pediatric brain tumors are very different from adult brain tumors. Mayo Clinic researchers involved in pediatric hematology and oncology research are working to better understand how and why pediatric brain tumors develop and how to best stop their growth.

See a list of publications by Mayo Clinic authors on pediatric brain tumors on PubMed, a service of the National Library of Medicine.

Sep. 26, 2014