Skip to Content

Pediatric Brain Tumor Team

Because tumors in children can present differently, along with the fact that a child's brain is still developing, it is important a child or adolescent receives diagnosis and treatment from a physician team specializing in pediatric brain tumors. 

Our team includes experts from two renowned hospitals in the Texas Medical Center, who work together to properly diagnose pediatric brain tumors and ensure they receive the most effective treatment, whether it's surgery, radiation therapy or chemotherapy. 

Pediatric Neurosurgery

David Sandberg, M.D.David I. Sandberg, M.D., F.A.A.N.S., F.A.C.S., F.A.A.P.
Director of Pediatric Neurosurgery, Mischer Neuroscience Institute/Children's Memorial Hermann Hospital
Associate Professor, Department of Neurosurgery, MD Anderson Cancer Center

Areas of expertise

  • Surgery of pediatric brain tumors
  • Drug therapies for pediatric brain tumors
  • Minimally invasive endoscopic management of brain tumors
  • Endoscopic management of hydrocephalus
  • Spinal tumors
  • Congenital spinal anomalies
  • Vascular malformations
  • Spasticity
  • Craniofacial disorders in children

Jeffrey Weinberg, M.D.Jeffrey S. Weinberg, M.D., FAANS, F.A.C.S.
Associate Professor, Department of Neurosurgery, MD Anderson Cancer Center
Director, Intraoperative MRI Program

Areas of expertise

  • Intraoperative MRI
  • Surgical management of primary and metastatic brain tumors
  • Spinal cord tumors
  • Stereotactic radiosurgery
  • Intraoperative delivery of anti-cancer agents

Stephen Fletcher, D.O.Stephen Fletcher, D.O.
Associate Professor, Department of Pediatric Surgery, Children's Memorial Hermann Hospital
Associate Professor, Department of Pediatric Surgery, University of Texas Health Medical School

Areas of expertise

  • Surgery of pediatric brain tumors
  • Pediatric vascular disorders
  • Chiari malformation in children
  • Medical management of trauma-associated  brain swelling
  • Craniofacial disorders in children

Pediatric Neuro-oncology

Soumen Khatua, M.D.Soumen Khatua, M.D.
Assistant Professor, Division of Pediatrics, MD Anderson Children's Cancer Hospital
Section Chief of Pediatric Neuro-oncology

Areas of expertise

  • High-grade glioma
  • Diffuse pontine glioma
  • Intracranial germ cell tumors
  • Developing clinical trials using targeted therapy in pediatric brain tumors

Wafik Zaky, M.D.Wafik Zaky, M.D.
Assistant Professor, Pediatric Neuro-oncology, MD Anderson Children's Cancer Hospital

Areas of expertise

  • Developing novel therapies including Phase I personalized targeted therapy clinical trials for brain tumors in children, specially recurrent or progressive disease
  • Immunotherapeutic strategies for recurrent and refractory brain tumors


Michael Rytting, M.D.Michael Rytting, M.D.
Associate Professor, Department of Pediatrics Patient Care, MD Anderson Children's Cancer Hospital

Areas of expertise

  • Relapsed/refractory brain tumors

 



Radiation Oncology

Anita Mahajan, M.D.Anita Mahajan, M.D.
Professor, Radiation Oncology, Co-section head of Pediatric and CNS Radiation Oncology,  MD Anderson Cancer Center
Medical Director, MD Anderson Proton Therapy Center

Areas of expertise

  • Radiation therapy techniques for pediatric and adult brain and CNS tumors
  • Proton therapy, including pencil-beam scanning and intensity-modulated proton therapy (IMPT)
  • Intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT)
  • Stereotactic radiosurgery with Gamma Knife®

Mary McAleer, M.D., Ph.D.Mary McAleer, M.D, Ph.D.
Associate Professor, Department of Radiation Oncology, Division of Radiation Oncology, MD Anderson Cancer Center

Areas of expertise

  • Radiation therapy techniques for pediatric and adult brain and CNS tumors
  • Proton therapy, including pencil-beam scanning and intensity-modulated proton therapy (IMPT)
  • Photon therapy, including intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT)
  • Stereotactic radiosurgery with Gamma Knife®
  • Stereotactic body radiotherapy with image guidance

Susan McGovern, M.D., Ph.D.Susan L. McGovern, M.D, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor, Department of Radiation Oncology, Division of Radiation Oncology
The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center

Areas of expertise

  • Radiation therapy techniques for pediatric tumors, as well as tumors of the brain and spine in adults
  • Proton therapy, including pencil-beam scanning and intensity-modulated proton therapy (IMPT)
  • Photon therapy, including intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT)
  • Stereotactic radiosurgery with Gamma Knife®

David Grosshans, MD, PhDDavid R. Grosshans, M.D., Ph.D.
Assistant professor, Department of Radiation Oncology, MD Anderson Cancer Center

Areas of expertise

  • Radiation therapy for pediatric and adult brain, spine and skull base tumors
  • Proton therapy, including pencil-beam scanning and intensity modulated proton therapy (IMPT)
  • Radiation biology of particle therapy 
  • Research on neurobiology and neural development in children

Neurology

John Slopis, MDJohn M. Slopis, M.D.
Associate professor, Department of Neuro-Oncology, MD Anderson Cancer Center
Medical director, Neurofibromatosis Program

Areas of expertise

  • Neurofibromatosis
  • Neurological disorders in children with brain tumors
  • Clinical trials in patients with neurofibromatosis

Neuropsychology

Bartlett Moore III, Ph.D.Bartlett D. Moore, III, Ph.D.
Professor, Division of Pediatrics, MD Anderson Children's Cancer Hospital

Area of expertise

  • Pediatric neuropsychology
  • Neurocognitive sequelae of brain irradiation in children
  • Neurofibomatosis
  • Comprehensive neuropsychological assessment for children with brain tumors
  • School re-entry and academic intervention

Survivorship and Follow-up Care

Joann Ater, MDJoann L. Ater, M.D.
Professor, Division of Pediatrics, MD Anderson Children's Cancer Hospital

Areas of expertise

  • Comprehensive care for long term survivors of children with brain and spinal cord tumors

 

Neuropathology

Kenneth Aldape, MDKenneth D. Aldape, M.D.
Professor and chair, Department of Pathology, MD Anderson Cancer Center

Areas of expertise

  • Primary and metastatic brain tumors
  • Predictors of outcome in glioblastoma
  • Pathologic and genomic characteristics of familial gliomas
  • Identification of new biomarkers for personalization of cancer care

 

Meenakshi Bhattacharjee, MDMeenakshi B. Bhattacharjee, M.D.
Professor, Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston Medical School

Areas of expertise

  • Pediatric and adult brain tumors
  • Pediatric and adult epilepsy
  • Neuromuscular disease
  • Neurodevelopmental disorders

 

Gregory Fuller, MD, PhDGregory N. Fuller, M.D., Ph.D.
Professor, Department of Pathology, MD Anderson Cancer Center
Section chief, Neuropathology

Areas of expertise

  • Mechanisms of glioma progression and invasion
  • Molecular classification of brain tumors

 

Neuroradiology

Leena Ketonen, MD, PhDLeena M. Ketonen, M.D., Ph.D.
Professor, Department of Diagnostic Imaging, MD Anderson Cancer Center

Areas of expertise

  • Diagnostic and therapeutic aspects of pediatric brain tumor imaging
  • Providing input regarding analysis of advanced neuro-imaging for clinicians

Pediatric Neuroscience Research

Joya Chandra, PhDJoya Chandra, Ph.D.
Associate professor, Division of Pediatrics, MD Anderson Children's Cancer Hospital
Faculty member, UT Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences

Areas of expertise

  • Understanding the oxidative environment of cancer cells to develop therapeutic strategies 
  • Design of novel treatments for glioblastoma 
  • Targeting of epigenetic enzymes

 

Vidya Gopalakrishnan, PhDVidya Gopalakrishnan, Ph.D.
Associate professor, Division of Pediatrics, MD Anderson Children's Cancer Hospital
Associate professor, Department of Molecular and Cellular Oncology, MD Anderson Cancer Center

Areas of expertise

  • Medulloblastoma 
  • Understanding the mechanisms of RE1 silencing transcription factor (REST) 
  • Identifying novel targets for medulloblastoma therapy

Neural Immunotherapy

Laurence Cooper, MD, PhDLaurence J. Cooper, M.D., Ph.D.
Professor, Division of Pediatrics, MD Anderson Children's Cancer Hospital
Section chief, Pediatric Cell Therapy
Professor, Department of Immunology, MD Anderson Cancer Center
Director, Immunology Laboratory of Physician Scientists
Associate Director, Center for Cancer Immunology Research

Areas of expertise

  • Stem cell transplantation
  • Translating immunology in the laboratory to clinical practice
  • Infusing T cells and NK cells to target malignancies

Dean A. Lee, MD, PhDDean Anthony Lee, M.D., Ph.D.
Associate professor, Division of Pediatrics, MD Anderson Children's Cancer Hospital
Faculty member, UT Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences

Areas of expertise

  • Pediatric stem cell transplantation
  • Immunology
  • IL-21 and STAT3 signaling in NK cells
  • Genetic and non-genetic modification of NK cell receptors
  • Ex-vivo molding of the KIR repertoire

Request an Appointment

Patients and parents: fill out our self-referral form to request an appointment.

Referring Physicians: Our team can discuss patient cases and streamline referrals. Page 713-200-0909. 
Our neurosurgery physician or physician assistant will quickly return your call.

Diseases We Treat

We treat a variety of pediatric brain tumors and spinal tumors, including:

  • Medulloblastoma (primitive neuroectodermal tumor)
  • Astrocytoma
  • Glioblastoma multiforme (GBM)
  • Ependymoma
  • Choroid plexus papilloma and carcinoma
  • Atypical teratoid-rhabdoid (ATRT)
  • Craniopharyngioma
  • Ganglioglioma
  • Dysembryoplastic neuroepithelial tumor (DNET)
  • Germ cell tumors

© 2014 The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center