Pediatric Neurosurgery at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center

Pediatric Neurosurgery at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center

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Our pediatric neurosurgeons treat children with all types of brain and spinal tumors. An important part of our work is collaborating closely with our pediatric neurologists, neuro-oncologists, and referring physician partners to design comprehensive treatment plans that offer children the best outcome and quality of life possible.

Call our dedicated referral line with any questions or to refer a patient at 212-639-7056 (Monday to Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. EST)

Our Expertise

We continue to innovate in the surgical management of pediatric brain tumors and are committed to improving survival rates for our patients. We have expertise in both common and rare tumors, and recognize that the surgical removal of these tumors is not always necessary. If we determine surgery would benefit the patient, we use the latest, most advanced techniques to spare children open surgery whenever possible.

We have pioneered the use of minimally invasive endoscopic brain surgery for cases that elsewhere would be treated with conventional and many times more extensive surgery. We have acclaimed endoscopic experience in the intraventricular compartment and skull base (transnasal) for tumors including colloid cyst, craniopharyngioma, and germ cell tumors.

Other advances include the use of intraoperative MRIs and brain mapping during surgery. We also have expertise in the use of laser induced thermal therapy (LITT), a minimally invasive, MRI-guided procedure that uses heat to destroy tumors without traditional surgery.

MSK is nationally regarded for developing drug delivery techniques for childhood brain tumors that cannot be removed by surgery. We have been integral to the clinical application of these evolving techniques that maximize drug delivery to the brain tumor and minimize toxicities.

Clinical Trials

We are leading a phase 1 clinical trial for children with diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma (DIPG), a tumor which as of now has a 100% fatality rate. Using convection-enhanced therapy, we infuse radioactive antibodies into the brain stem to destroy tumors.

We are overseeing a first-of-its-kind longitudinal study to identify biomarkers in liquid biopsies of children with fatal brain tumors. We’ve partnered with our colleagues in adult neurology for this unprecedented initiative.

Our partnerships with MSK medical oncologists ensure that we have access to the newest, most promising medicines. We are also members of the Pediatric Brain Tumor Consortium (PBTC), the Children’s Oncology Group (COG), and other groups that pool data and resources to increase collective knowledge on these tumors.

Our Approach

We understand the urgency of evaluating these tumors and offer rapid-access consultations. We can provide you a link to upload your patient’s imaging and get back to you with our thoughts in a matter of hours.

We also understand the importance of the relationships you’ve built with your patients and their families. Our neurosurgeons will apply their expertise in close coordination with you and return your patients back to you to continue guiding them on their journey. 

Our expertise is matched by our compassion for patients and their families. Child life specialists, teachers, physical therapists, social workers, and other specialists are all members of a child’s care team. We also offer comprehensive support services for parents and families, such as the Specially Important Brothers and Sisters (SIBS) program for patients’ siblings.