Overview:

Central nervous system (CNS) tumors, which include cancers of the brain and spinal cord, are the second most common malignancies in pediatrics. The successful management and care of children who suffer from them require a coordinated team approach.   Our primary treatment team consists of pediatric neurosurgery, pediatric neuro-oncology, pediatric radiation oncology and advanced practice nursing. These team members are assisted by pediatric neuropathology, neuro-radiology, neurology, endocrinology and nursing specialists.   Dedicated psychology, neuropsychology, child life, physical therapy, occupational therapy, nutrition and social services personnel also provide necessary support to patients. Most of these services are available at our Comprehensive Brain Tumor Clinic. All staff are highly trained in providing personal care to children with CNS cancers and are acutely sensitive to the needs and concerns of their families.   In addition to the standard treatment plans and the research protocols of the Children’s Oncology Group, we provide individualized therapy, including the capacity to provide novel cellular and immune modalities. Consultations and second opinions are welcomed.

 

Diseases:

We are experienced in treating all CNS tumors including benign tumors, low to high grade gliomas, diffuse pontine glioma, optic glioma, NF1 and NF2-associated tumors, germ cell tumor, ependymoma, medulloblastoma, atypical teratoid/rhabdoid tumor, pituitary tumors, choroid plexus tumors, retinoblastoma, PNET, oligodendroglioma, meningioma, tectal tumors, thalamic tumors and ganglioglioma.

 

Key Team Members/Disciplines:  (Team Photo)

  • Director:  Mitchell S. Cairo, MD
  • Pediatric Neurosurgery: Avinash L. Mohan, MD and Michael Tobias, MD
  • Pediatric Developmental Therapeutics: Behzad Bidadi, MD
  • Pediatric Radiation Oncology: Chitti Ramanamoorthy, MD
  • Pediatric Neuro-Oncology:  Behzad Bidadi, MD
  • Pediatric Nurse Coordinator: Connie Leonick, RN, MSN, CPNP
  • Pediatric Neurosurgery Nurse Practitioners: Lauren Diaz, CPNP and Cari Martone, CPNP
  • Psychology: Arlene Adler, PhD
  • Neuropsychology: Suzanne Braniecki, PhD
  • Neurology: Ronald Jacobson, MD
  • Endocrinology: Alicia Romano, MD
  • Neuroradiology: Michael Tenner, MD
  • Cellular Therapy: Yanling Liao, PhD
  • Social Work: Rose Bartone, LCSW and Barbara McLain, LCSW

 

Unique Features:

  • Comprehensive “Medical Home” Outpatient Program
  • Individualized therapy for diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma and glioblastoma multiforme
  • Blythedale Children’s Hospital nearby for physical rehabilitation
  • Pediatric Neuro-Surgical Team
  • Cutting edge customized patient treatment protocols
  • Children’s Oncology Group and multicenter clinical trials
  • Neuropsychological testing and follow-up
  • Coordinated team of neuro-oncologists, neurologists, neuroradiologists, radiation therapists, and pediatric neurosurgeons
  • Coordinated network of pediatric subspecialists
  • Social work support
  • Neuro-oncology and neurosurgery nurse practitioners
  • Customized radiation oncology treatments
  • Supportive and palliative care specialists
  • Personalized targeted therapy
  • Vaccine and Cellular therapy strategies
  • Wellness and Survivorship Program for long-term follow-up

 

Research and Education Highlights:

  • Medical student, resident and fellow rotations
  • Novel drug development targeting mitochondria
  • Medulloblastoma preclinical research
  • Adoptive Cellular Immunotherapy
  • Gene Therapy
  • Stem Cell Transplantation