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Expert, Personalized Care for Children with Brain and Spinal Cord Tumors

With the only team of pediatric neuro-oncology specialists in the state, Arkansas Children’s expertly cares for children of all ages with brain and spinal cord tumors, including the most complex.

We diagnose and treat infants, children, adolescents and young adults from across Arkansas and beyond. And we understand the long-term effects and challenges caused by tumors and their treatments. That’s why we carefully tailor every aspect of care to each child’s unique phase of growth and development.

It’s difficult for families to hear that their child has a brain or spinal tumor. But our expertise and compassion can help families address the challenges to achieve a better quality of life both during and after treatment.

Multidisciplinary Brain Tumor Clinic for Improved Outcomes

We also believe that a collaborative approach improves care.

Our weekly meeting of the Brain Tumor Clinic and tumor board brings together the expertise and experience of a multidisciplinary team to review the progress of every single patient. This highly specialized partnership allows us to offer families the most comprehensive care plans possible.

Precise Neurosurgical Tumor Treatments

The pediatric neurosurgical team at Arkansas Children’s uses precise technologies and techniques to treat brain and spinal cord tumors.

For example, intensity-modulated radiotherapy (IMRT) is a procedure in which our neurosurgeons use linear accelerator devices. This lets them deliver precise radiation doses to a tumor while minimizing the amount of radiation to surrounding normal tissue.

Sometimes radiation is necessary, but in other cases chemotherapy and potentially a bone marrow transplant may be used instead.

Our radiation oncologists also have a non-invasive alternative to brain surgery called Gamma Knife® to treat complex brain conditions. It’s specially engineered to treat delicate brain tissue. Despite the name, this instrument does not involve a scalpel or incision, but rather is a radiosurgery technique that delivers radiation treatments to the specific target in the brain.

No matter the type of brain or spinal cord tumor, our specialists work together to create personalized treatment plans that meet the needs of each child and their family.

Specialized Care for Neurofibromatosis and Tuberous Sclerosis

Genetic disorders such as neurofibromatosis and tuberous sclerosis often require special family support. Arkansas Children’s offers genetic counseling and other assistance for parents who need to understand how these conditions may affect family decisions.

At our Neurofibromatosis (NF) Clinic, for example, a team of pediatric specialists creates a personalized diagnosis, treatment and monitoring plan for patients of all ages with:

  • type 1 neurofibromatosis
  • type 2 neurofibromatosis
  • Schwannomatosis

These conditions all involve the growth of tumors on various nerve cells. There is no cure for neurofibromatosis. However, our NF Clinic can provide a wide range of options — including some clinical trials — to treat the symptoms caused by neurofibromatosis.

Tuberous sclerosis is another, rare genetic condition that causes benign tumors to grow in the brain and other organs. Symptoms of tuberous sclerosis may occur at birth, or they may take time to develop.

Whether the disease is mild or severe, our specialists at Arkansas Children’s can help relieve the symptoms with medication, chemotherapy, surgery or other treatments.

Clinical Trials Offer Innovative Tumor Treatments

Every aspect of Arkansas Children’s state-of-the-art care is devoted to improving children’s health and wellness. That includes taking part in numerous clinical trials for children with brain and spinal cord tumors.

When tumors don’t respond to more traditional treatment protocols, our neurosurgical specialists may be able to provide advanced options through research and clinical trial partnerships

For patients seeking second opinions, we take referrals and offer second opinions regarding both clinical care and clinical trials.

For More Information about Neuro-Oncology

Arkansas Children’s offers expert diagnosis and treatment to help improve the quality of life for children with brain and spinal cord tumors. To see if we can help your family, contact our team at parkerls@archildrens.org, call 501-364-2934 or fax information to 501-364-4332.