Learning that your child has a brain or spinal cord tumor is scary. This diagnosis is received by approximately 5,000 children in the United States each year. The Comprehensive Pediatric Neuro-Oncology team at Riley Children’s Health and the IU Health Melvin and Bren Simon Cancer Center treat children diagnosed with brain or spinal cord tumors.
While the diagnosis of a brain or spinal cord tumor is scary, you can be rest assured knowing that your child's Riley Children's care team will work hard to provide the best treatment options. You will be surrounded and supported by a team that will provide the in-depth information you need in order to be informed and make decisions along with a treatment plan that works for your family.
The care of patients with brain and spinal cord tumors requires multiple specialists viewing and treating the condition from all angles. The Comprehensive Pediatric Neuro-Oncology Program at Riley Hospital for Children at IU Health provides this integrative care approach. Each member of your child's care team is an expert in their own area of care. In addition to neurosurgery and neuro-oncology, your child’s team may include providers from:
- Radiation Oncology
- Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
These specialists work together to treat the whole patient. This collaboration ensures shared knowledge and communication between all team members. Our holistic approach allows for the best possible care and treatment plan for your child.
Why Choose Riley Children's?
Why Choose Riley Children's?
When your family comes to Riley Children's, you have access to a comprehensive children’s health system that cares for a population of more than 1 million children a year. We care for more than 80% of children with cancer in Indiana. Our Comprehensive Pediatric Neuro-Oncology Program serves more than 80 newly diagnosed patients each year.
Superior high-level care. Riley Children's is one of a few hospitals across the nation that’s able to provide care for children with brain and spinal cord tumors with multiple pediatric specialists working together.
Dedicated knowledge and expertise. Our team is made up of specially trained pediatric specialists who are involved in each patient’s diagnosis and treatment planning from the earliest stages.
Multidisciplinary approach. Our program has weekly multidisciplinary meetings to discuss the progress of patients and to gain insights from multiple specialists involved in your child's treatment plan and care.
Extensive research. The comprehensive Pediatric Neuro-Oncology Program at Riley Children's Health is led by a team that is always looking for ways to improve the care provided for children with brain and spinal cord tumors. Our discoveries take place in our practices, operating rooms and laboratories which directly affect your child's health. Our team is actively involved in research projects to improve the understanding of why brain and spinal cord tumors occur while continuing to develop better treatment plans.
Proton Therapy Center Collaboration
Proton radiation therapy delivers precise radiation to target tumors and limits effect on surrounding tissue. It is used in the treatment of many pediatric brain and spinal cord tumors. Currently, there is no proton center in the state of Indiana. When needed, our team collaborates with colleagues at these institutions:
- University of Cincinnati Health Proton Therapy in Cincinnati
- Northwestern Proton Center in Chicago
- St. Jude Red Frog Events Proton Therapy Center in Memphis, Tenn.
- S. Lee Kling Proton Therapy Center in St. Louis
We understand that research done today will make patient care better tomorrow. Lessons learned in labs and clinical trials are applied to the daily and long-term treatment plans of our patients. Our program is currently a member of the following consortiums:
Conditions & Services
Our pediatric specialists provide patient- and family-centered care for most related conditions. The links below provide more specific information about some, but not all, of the conditions that we treat.
We offer a number of different Comprehensive Neuro-Oncology Program services. Below are some, but not all, of the services that we provide. If you have a question about a specific service that is not listed here, please contact our program.
The expert team of doctors with the Neuro-Oncology Program at Riley Children's focuses specifically on the treatment of children with brain and spinal cord tumors.
The Comprehensive Pediatric Neuro-Oncology Program at Riley Children’s Hospital at IU Health has curated relevant resources from other websites and provided links with brief descriptions of the information that is available.
Related Programs & Departments
Related Programs & Departments
We provide multispecialty care for a number of conditions. In addition to the links to our related programs & departments below, Riley Children's also offers the following programs:
- Cancer Predisposition Program
- Clinic for Non-Surgical Incidental Lesions
- Clinic for Survivors of Brain Tumors
- Neurofibromatosis Program
- Neuropsychology Screening Program
- Fertility Preservation Program
For Health Professionals
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In partnership with the Indiana University Health Simon Cancer Center, the Comprehensive Pediatric Neuro-Oncology Program at Riley Children’s Hospital at IU Health participates in research that gives our patients access to the newest developments and treatments for brain and spinal cord tumors.
Research is conducted through the Molecular Oncology and Experimental Therapeutics research group at the Herman B Wells Center for Pediatric Research. The center conducts basic science research as well as translational research. Translational research allows the science innovations discovered in the lab to support the day-to-day work inside the clinical practice.
Researchers within the Wells Center receive more than $9 million each year in federal research funds and grants. Funding support comes from various organizations, including the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the American Cancer Society.
The Neuro-Oncology Program is part of the Cancer & Blood Diseases Department at Riley at IU Health. This department works daily to train the next generation of pediatric oncologists and researchers. Riley at IU Health is actively affiliated with the Indiana University School of Medicine and the IU Health Simon Cancer Center. Through this affiliation, we offer a pediatric oncology/hematology fellowship. The fellowship program boasts a three-year training format, with two new fellows chosen each year.