Pediatric brain tumors care at Mayo Clinic

Getting the best care when your child has a brain tumor

Mayo Clinic pediatric brain tumor specialists direct care for children with all types of brain tumors. Treatment of brain tumors in children differs from treatment in adults with brain tumors, so it's critical to get diagnosis and treatment from pediatric brain tumor specialists. You can expect the best care for your child at Mayo Clinic in a family-friendly environment.

Your Mayo Clinic team

As part of the Mayo Clinic Children's Center, pediatric specialists in the Pediatric Brain Tumor Clinic work together as a multispecialty team to deliver the most effective personalized treatment plan for your child.

Typically, a pediatric neuro-oncologist specializing in brain tumors will be your child's primary doctor. This doctor may coordinate access to other specialists from the pediatric brain tumor treatment team.

Your team may include specialists in:

An experienced team of pediatric cancer experts diagnose and treat children who have brain tumors.

Innovative approaches to brain tumor surgery

Mayo Clinic brain surgeons, also called neurosurgeons, have experience caring for many children with brain tumors. They use the latest technology and techniques to maximize the amount of tumor tissue removed and minimize any effects on nearby healthy tissue.

  • Advanced imaging. Pediatric neurosurgeons use the latest imaging techniques to plan surgery. Advanced imaging tests include magnetic resonance elastography, also called MRE, and slip interface imaging. These can help define the edges of the tumor and show how attached it is to the healthy brain tissue. Careful planning helps make surgery more successful.
  • Creating 3D models to plan safe surgery. At Mayo Clinic, pediatric neurosurgeons have access to state-of-the-art 3D printing. The printers use high-resolution imaging to create 3D models of complex brain tumors. The models help surgeons plan operations to maximize safety. Surgeons also might use the models to help patients and families better understand the anatomy of the brain tumor.
  • Using the latest brain surgery techniques. Mayo Clinic's expertise in computer-assisted brain surgery allows pediatric neurosurgeons to precisely locate tumors and remove them using the safest and least invasive route possible. Techniques such as brain-mapping, intraoperative MRI and awake brain surgery help surgeons operate without injuring critical areas of the brain.

Carefully targeted radiation therapy

Mayo Clinic is one of a limited number of healthcare facilities in the United States that offers a Proton Beam Therapy Program for children with certain types of brain tumors. Proton therapy is a type of radiation that uses energy from protons. Traditional radiation therapy uses energy from X-rays, also called photons.

Traditional radiation therapy with X-rays delivers radiation to nearly everything in its path. That means tissue in front of the tumor and behind the tumor gets some radiation. Most adult bodies can absorb the radiation and heal from this damage. But children's bodies are still growing and developing. Children may be more sensitive to this extra radiation. Proton therapy allows doctors to carefully plan and deliver the treatment so that there is minimal harm to surrounding tissue. This may help reduce the risk of long-term side effects and complications.

Proton beam therapy avoids unnecessary exposure to radiation compared to traditional radiation therapy.

These pictures each show radiation treatment to the brain and spinal canal. The colors in the pictures show where the radiation is going. Red and yellow areas get high levels of radiation. Blue and green areas get lower levels of radiation. Areas that look gray aren't getting any radiation. Left image: This image shows traditional X-ray radiation. Most of the radiation goes to the target area. Much of the rest of the body gets a low dose of radiation. Right image: This image shows proton radiation. Most of the radiation goes to the target area. Most of the rest of the body doesn't get any radiation.

Expertise and rankings

Multispecialty team of pediatric experts

Highly skilled pediatric specialists in Mayo Clinic's Pediatric Brain Tumor Clinic work together as a multispecialty team to deliver the most effective personalized treatment plan for your child.

Typically, a pediatric neuro-oncologist specializing in brain tumors coordinates the pediatric brain tumor treatment team. The team may include experts from pediatric neurology, pediatric neurosurgery, radiology, pediatric endocrinology, neuropathology, pediatric radiation oncology, pediatric oncology, child psychology and pediatric rehabilitation.

Nationally recognized expertise

Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, Florida, and Mayo Clinic in Phoenix/Scottsdale, Arizona., rank among the Best Hospitals for neurology and neurosurgery and for cancer in the U.S. News & World Report rankings. Mayo Clinic Children's Center in Rochester is ranked the No. 1 hospital in Minnesota, and the five-state region of Iowa, Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wisconsin, according to U.S. News & World Report's 2023–2024 "Best Children's Hospitals" rankings. With the emphasis on collaborative care, specialists interact very closely with their colleagues across all sites.

Mayo Clinic is consistently recognized by external organizations for providing outstanding patient care. These endorsements reinforce the commitment of the Mayo Clinic Children's Center to providing expert pediatric care, tailored to the needs of each child, in a caring and compassionate environment.

Locations, travel and lodging

Mayo Clinic has major campuses in Phoenix and Scottsdale, Arizona; Jacksonville, Florida; and Rochester, Minnesota. The Mayo Clinic Health System has dozens of locations in several states.

For more information on visiting Mayo Clinic, choose your location below:

Costs and insurance

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.

Learn more about appointments at Mayo Clinic.

Please contact your insurance company to verify medical coverage and to obtain any needed authorization prior to your visit. Often, your insurer's customer service number is printed on the back of your insurance card.

More information about billing and insurance:

Mayo Clinic in Arizona, Florida and Minnesota

Mayo Clinic Health System



  • Mayo Clinic Pediatric Brain Tumor Program
  • 200 First St. SW
    Floor 16
    Rochester, MN 55905
  • Phone: 855-629-6543
April 27, 2024

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