Pediatric Brain Tumor Treatment

At UCSF, children with brain tumors are cared for by board-certified and fellowship-trained pediatric neurosurgeons, neuroradiologists, neuro-oncologists, and radiation oncologists, as well as physicians, nurses, and hospital staff from a variety of pediatric subspecialties. This team approach, from initial diagnosis through treatment and recovery, sets us apart from other centers and is one reason why US News & World Report has ranked the Children’s Neurosurgery and Neurology services at UCSF among in the best in the nation.

Some of the most common types of pediatric brain tumors treated include: 

Medulloblastoma Brainstem glioma
Ependymoma Craniopharyngioma
Choroid Plexus Tumors • Spinal Cord Tumors
• Astrocytoma 
    - Low-grade glioma
    - High-grade glioma 


Surgery is usually the first step in treating children with brain and spinal cord tumors. After surgery, children may need radiation therapy or chemotherapy. These treatments aim to kill any of the microscopic tumor cells that may remain after surgery.

• Surgery
• Chemotherapy
• Radiation Therapy

UCSF is the lead institution for the Pacific Pediatric Neuro-Oncology Consortium (PNOC) - a network of 11 children's hosptials that perform clinical trials of therapies that are specific to the molecular profiles of a patient's tumor. By testing therapies that interfere with specific cellular pathways or mutations after confirming that a patient’s tumor has those characteristics, PNOC trials aim to provide patients with therapies optimized for their tumor type.

UCSF also participates in the Children’s Oncology Group. This is a cooperative group combining the efforts of the major pediatric clinical trials groups based in North America – the Children's Cancer Group, the Pediatric Oncology Group, the Intergroup Rhabdomyosarcoma Study Group, and the National Wilms' Tumor Study Group (NWTSG) – to accelerate the search for a cure and prevention of cancer in children and adolescents. Participation in national cooperative clinical trials ensures that patients at UCSF's Pediatric Brain Tumor Center consistently have access to the latest techniques and the newest concepts in treatment for pediatric tumors of the brain and spinal cord. To enroll patients in clinical trials or to find out more information, call (415) 476-3831 or visit our pediatric brain tumor clinical trials page.