Why Choose Children's?

One of the largest brain and spinal cord tumor programs in the region. Children's Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota provides care for the majority of children diagnosed with a CNS tumor in the state of Minnesota and are the trusted regional treatment center for many children in North Dakota, South Dakota, Iowa and Wisconsin.

Access to the latest treatment options. Active participation and access to the most up-to-date national and international treatment protocols for radiation, chemotherapy, and surgery through the Children's Oncology Group (COG) and the Pediatric Blood and Marrow Transplant Consortium (PBMTC). Through these memberships and participation your child is assured access to the most current treatment options.

Among the best outcomes. Children's Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota consistently ranks above the national average for pediatric cancer survival rates. Children's five-year survival rate for all central nervous system tumors is 81 percent compared with a 72 percent national rate. (Data is from the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) Program of the National Cancer Institute between 2003 and 2008.)

New technology assures the best results during tumor removal surgery.

  • 3 Tesla MRI allows neurosurgeons to map tumors prior to surgery.
  • Magnetoencephalogram (MEG) is a non-invasive test that maps the brain's electrical activity. This allows neurologists to look at brain function and seizure activity in relation to the location of the tumor. This kind of mapping is especially important when removing brain tumors.
  • Intra-operative MRI, allows neurosurgeons to pinpoint tumor location during surgery, thus improving the accuracy of tumor removal and preservation of normal brain tissue around the tumor.
  • Radiation and radiosurgery are available for targeted, non-invasive treatment of brain tumors.

Experts work together for your child. An accomplished, consistent team of health care professionals work together for your child, including pediatric neuro oncologists, endocrinologists, radiologists, neurosurgeons, neurologists, ophthalmologists, physical therapists, pain management specialists and others. This group is called a multidisciplinary team. They meet regularly at a CNS Tumor Conference to discuss individual cases and make recommendations about treatment and follow-up care.

In addition to the CNS Tumor Conferences, the multidisciplinary teams sees patients in the CNS Tumor Comprehensive Clinic. This clinic is designed specifically for the child and adolescent with complex care needs because of a brain or spinal cord tumor. In a single coordinated clinic visit, the child is seen by multiple experts and receives a comprehensive plan and recommendations from the team.

Our neuro-oncologists work with the Neurocutaneous Syndrome Clinic team to screen and promote early identification of central nervous syndrome tumors in children with underlying inherited risks, such as neurofiromatosis.

Programs to help kids with education and school. Children's Neuropsychological Testing and School Re-entry program offer testing, support and practical recommendations for your child and their school. Neuropsychologists work proactively with patients, families, and schools to help patients reach their maximum intellectual and social potential. In addition to educational assessments and recommendations, the Child Life staff works closely with the child, family and school to assure a smooth transition back to the classroom.

Second opinions from our experts. At Children's, we provide consultation services for children and their doctors not previously seen in our program who would like input from our expert team. If you or your child's doctor would like us to review your child's case, we ask for health records and test results for your child. The child does not need to live in the area or be seen in our clinic.