Pediatric Brain Tumor Program

Article Teaser

Le Bonheur has five board certified pediatric neurosurgeons leading the largest pediatric brain tumor program in the country. Some of the most common brain tumors operated on include: medulloblastoma, ATRT, PNET, ependymoma, craniopharyngioma, low grade or high grade glioma.

In conjunction with St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, Le Bonheur is home to one of the nation's largest pediatric surgical brain tumor program.

We are nationally known for our aggressive surgical approaches and groundbreaking treatments of brain tumors in children and adolescents. Our surgeons perform nearly 180 brain surgeries each year.

Children with brain tumors receive care from a multidisciplinary group of physicians, scientists, nurses and support staff representing the many types of treatment and support crucial to the comprehensive care.

Children in Le Bonheur and St. Jude joint brain tumor program have some of the highest one-year survival rates – Medulloblastoma 89 percent, Ependymoma 98 percent, Glioma 96 percent and Craniopharyngioma 100 percent.

Our patients have access to the most advanced technology available, including intraoperative MRI.

Our six-bed Neurosurgical Intensive Care Unit (Neuro ICU) is specially designed for the care of children following brain tumor surgery. Le Bonheur is one of a few children’s hospitals with a neurosurgical intensive care unit. It is staffed with nurses trained in post-brain surgery recovery.

Our team includes pediatric neurosurgeons and neuroradiologists at Le Bonheur and neuro-oncologists and pediatric radiation oncologists at St. Jude. Through this multi-hospital collaboration, each child's care is supported by physicians representing radiology, neuropsychology, neuropathology and neuroendocrinology, plus specially trained nurses, rehabilitation specialists, pharmacists, nutritionists and audiologists.

Children from 32 states visited Le Bonheur in 2011 to be treated at the Institute.

We treat many types of tumors, benign and malignant, including:

  • Posterior fossa tumors, or tumors that form near the base of the skull

Cerebellar astrocytomas
Low grade gliomas
High grade gliomas

  • Supratentorial tumors, or tumors that occur in the upper part of the brain

Cerebral astrocytomas
Choroid plexus tumors
Germ cell tumors
High grade gliomas
Low grade gliomas
Metastasis from extra neural malignancies
Mixed gliomas
Neuronal and mixed neuronal glial tumors
Pineal parenchymal tumors
Primitive neuroectodermal tumors (including cerebral neuroblastoma, pineoblastoma, ependymoblastoma)

Brain Tumor Treatments

Most childhood brain tumors are treated with pediatric brain tumor surgery. Radiation and chemotherapy can also be part of the treatment plan. Through our partnership with St. Jude, children with brain tumors have access to promising new treatments not yet available at other hospitals.

For more information about pediatric brain tumors, visit the following websites:

American Brain Tumor Association

National Cancer Institute

The Brain Tumor Society

National Brain Tumor Foundation

St. Jude Children's Research Hospital

For more information about our Neuroscience Institute, e-mail