Who treats brain and spinal cord tumors at Children’s Minnesota?

Children’s Minnesota brain and spinal cord tumor program is the largest pediatric central nervous system (CNS) tumor program in Minnesota and provides diagnosis and treatment for all types of tumors of the brain and spinal cord. In this program, children receive medical care in a convenient, coordinated “one-stop-shop” environment. The comprehensive clinics are available at Children’s Minnesota in Minneapolis and St. Paul.

Our team approach

In Children’s Minnesota’s unique model, your child or teen’s care is directed and coordinated by a board-certified hematologist/oncologist, who leads a highly experienced team of multidisciplinary professionals.

There are many people who work closely with you and your child during this challenging time. All of these health care providers are specially trained to care for children with CNS tumors. The brain and spinal tumor team provides inpatient and outpatient care at both the Minneapolis and St. Paul campuses of Children’s Minnesota.

Team members come from many different areas, including:

Pediatric neuro-oncology

Children’s Minnesota’s pediatric oncologists, certified nurse practitioners and nurses are trained in the field of childhood cancer and have sub-specialized in the care of children with CNS tumors. They will identify the best diagnostic means, treatment, supportive care and follow up plan for your child.

Pediatric neurosurgery

The neurosurgery team typically performs an initial procedure to confirm diagnosis and treat symptoms of increased pressure in the brain. In many types of brain and spinal cord tumors, the surgery team will also attempt to remove as much of the tumor as possible.

Pediatric radiation oncology

Pediatric radiation oncologists deliver radiation to the brain and spinal cord of children with CNS malignancies. Both the St. Paul and Minneapolis radiation facilities deliver state of the art radiation treatments.

Pediatric neuroradiology

Pediatric neuroradiologists are experts in reading radiology scans (CT scans, MRI scans, CT angiograms) of the central nervous system. Radiological scans demonstrate the tumor and are the best way to follow the response of the tumor to treatment.

Pediatric neuropsychology

Pediatric neuropsychologists assess the academic, behavioral and emotional impact a brain tumor and treatment may have on your child. Appropriate intervention, especially with your child’s school, can help make treatment less stressful for the whole family.

Pediatric endocrinology

Pediatric endocrinologists are experts in management of the hormonal impact of the CNS tumor and its treatments.

Pediatric neurology

Pediatric neurologists are experts in the evaluation of the function of the brain and spinal cord. Find out about neurology.

Pediatric rehabilitative services

Pediatric rehabilitative specialists and physical therapists specialized in CNS tumors and chemotherapy related issues work in the clinic with the team and your child to promote normal motor development during treatment and recovery.

Pediatric social work

Clinical social workers focus on the psychological and social impact of the health care needs on the family system. They assist patients and families with the physical, emotional and social issues and concerns that exist during a hospitalization.

Pediatric dietitian/nutrition services

Good nutrition is central to the growth and development of all children. Our team of registered dietitian nutritionists (RDN), are experts in the nutrition needs of your growing child. Our team of dietitians have mastered evidence based approaches to nutrition therapy as well as stay up to date on the latest nutrition research.

  • Rachel Laquere, RD, LD

Pediatric nurse case managers

Pediatric nurse case managers are registered nurses who are trained to provide and coordinate the nursing care and teaching to children and their families in the hospital or clinic.

  • Sarah Wimmer, RN, CPHON
  • Ana Brown, RN, CCRP

CNS Tumor Conference

CNS Tumor Conference is a multidisciplinary conference held approximately twice a month where pediatric brain and spinal cord tumor cases are presented to a team of neuro-oncologists, neurosurgeons, neuroradiologists, radiation oncologists, and several other key team members. This conference ultimately benefits patients by pooling the team’s experience, resources and recommendations at the same time in the same place.

Additional members of the multidisciplinary team

Numerous other pediatric specialties readily available at Children’s Minnesota are involved in the care of a child with a CNS tumor including nurses, social workers, child life specialists, pharmacists, clinical research associates, chaplains and psychologists. These professionals have specialized knowledge and experience in caring for and assisting families and patients with unique needs related to brain and spinal cord tumors and their treatment.