Brain Tumor Treatment Program

Brain Tumor Treatment Program

U.S. News and World Report award for Cancer Treatment

Offering the most innovative pediatric brain tumor treatment available in the country using the most advanced technologies and techniques available

At the Gill Center, our Brain Tumor Program provides patients with a multidisciplinary approach to personalized care, a depth of expertise and a commitment to research. We treat 80 to 100 new patients a year. Each week, new patients and those with progressive tumors are presented at a weekly tumor board which works together to confirm diagnoses and develop comprehensive treatment plans. This team comprises oncologists, neurologists, neurosurgeons, pathologists and neuro-radiologists, rounded out by ophthalmologists, endocrinologists, a physician assistant, nurses, child life specialists, psychologists and physical, speech and occupational therapists.

Cutting-edge Treatments

Beyond the well-practiced applications of surgery, chemotherapy and radiation therapy, our program utilizes advanced technology and innovative treatment techniques. Two examples include:

  • CyberKnife: In partnership with UT Southwestern’s Moncrief Radiation Oncology Center, the Gill Center offers stereotactic radiosurgery, or CyberKnife surgery. Using a linear accelerator mounted on a robotic arm, the CyberKnife focuses multiple beams of radiation into the tumor. The minimally invasive treatment aggressively treats primary and metastatic brain tumors with high doses of radiation without increasing risk to surrounding brain tissues.
  • Molecular testing: Diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma (DIPG) is usually a devastating prognosis. We’re working to change that. In partnership with Boston Children’s Hospital, we biopsy these tumors to identify molecular abnormalities that may become targets for treatment. This personalized approach to treating DIPG is still new and represents a paradigm shift in treatment protocol.

Leaders in Research

The Pauline Allen Gill Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders is recognized leader in world class research in pursuit of eradicating childhood cancer. Our partnerships also ensure patients in all our programs, including the Brain Tumor program, have access to the latest clinical trials. Our patients have access to clinical studies approved by the National Cancer Institute, the Children’s Health Oncology Group and UT Southwestern. Learn more about our advanced research.

Brain Tumor Cell Metabolism

We pursue clinical research with oncologists, surgeons and pathologists to better understand and treat patients with medulloblastoma. For example, in a November 2012 study (Metabolism of [U-13 C] glucose in human brain tumors in vivo), UT Southwestern researchers found that metabolic reprogramming contributes to brain tumor growth in adults. We’re leveraging this research to study glucose metabolism in pediatric brain tumors. Funded with a Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas grant, the study began in 2013 with the goal of creating new methods of targeting brain tumors.

Meet the Care Team