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A change in the trend

Conquest - Summer 2013

Improving survival of children with brain tumors

Related story: Patients of all ages

By Sara Farris

Brain tumors are the second most common cancer diagnosed in children, but the survival rate is lower than that of many other childhood cancers. This trend could change thanks to a collaborative group treating these difficult tumors.

The Pediatric Brain Tumor Program of MD Anderson Children’s Cancer Hospital and Children’s Memorial Hermann Hospital combines the talent and expertise from two leading medical institutions to focus on brain and spinal tumors in children and young adults.

The team of board-certified specialists from each institution partners with patients and families to deliver the best treatment, including many services not provided by other children’s hospitals.

Patients have access to the latest in treatments, such as proton therapy, the BrainSUITE® surgical unit with intraoperative MRI, advanced diagnostic imaging and clinical trials found nowhere else.

“We’ve put together an experienced team,” says David Sandberg, M.D., pediatric neurosurgeon at both institutions and co-director of the program with Soumen Khatua, M.D., assistant professor at MD Anderson Children's Cancer Hospital.

“Our goal is not only to improve overall survival for children with brain cancer, but to develop better treatments that minimize side effects and provide the best quality of life.”

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