Exploring Targeted Treatments for Children with Low-Grade Brain Tumors

A version of this article was published on Discoveries, the blog of Boston Children’s Hospital. Children diagnosed with low-grade astrocytomas, the most common type of pediatric brain tumor, have more than a 90 percent chance of being cured. Yet in the process, the standard treatments (neurosurgery and chemotherapy) for this form of tumor can cause serious … Continued

Single-Cell Sequencing Reveals Glioblastoma’s Shape-Shifting Nature

This post was originally published on Discoveries, the blog of Boston Children’s Hospital. Glioblastoma, a cancer that arises in the brain’s supporting glial cells, is one of the worst diagnoses a child can receive. The grade IV, highly malignant tumor aggressively infiltrates healthy brain tissue, and most children die of the disease within one to … Continued

Athlete Getting Back on the Field After Low-Grade Glioma

This post was originally published on Thriving, Boston Children’s Hospital’s pediatric health blog. It started with muscle aches in her shoulders, almost like spasms, while she slept. The pain was awful, and nothing seemed to bring relief. But because Erin Holmberg is a varsity three-sport athlete—soccer, basketball and track—everyone assumed it was muscular pain caused … Continued

Pediatric Survivors and Parents Find School Liaison Program is a Lifeline

Harry Clark has faced many academic challenges in his dozen years of brain cancer treatment, but through surgeries, radiation, and chemotherapy, one person has always been there to guide and reassure the high school junior and his family on scholastic matters. School psychologist Marybeth Morris, EdM, is one half of a dynamic duo supporting pediatric … Continued

6 Types of Pediatric Brain Tumors

There are many different pediatric brain tumor types and classifications based upon the tumor’s cell structure, composition, rate of growth, location, and other characteristics. A child’s tumor may have the same microscopic appearance to an adult tumor, but the mutations that cause its growth are completely different.   Learn more about pediatric brain tumors from … Continued

Webchat: The Latest in Brain Tumor Research and Care

In honor of Brain Tumor Awareness Month, David Reardon, MD, and Patrick Wen, MD, of Dana-Farber’s Center for Neuro-Oncology, went live on Facebook to answer questions about brain cancer. The doctors discussed advice for brain tumor patients, answered audience questions, and described the difference between the two major categories of brain cancers—primary cancer, developed in … Continued

What’s New in Pediatric Brain Tumor Research and Care?

Mark W. Kieran, MD, PhD, director of Pediatric Medical Neuro-Oncology at Dana-Farber/Boston Children’s Cancer and Blood Disorders Center, spoke to pediatric patient families in a recent Facebook Live Webchat addressing pediatric brain tumor care. Kieran answered questions from audience members about the most common of the 300 brain tumor types that occur in children, including … Continued

One Family, One Researcher: How Mikey’s Journey is Fueling an Attack on DIPG

This story first appeared on Vector, a blog of Boston Children’s Hospital. “It’s a brutal disease; there’s just no other way to describe DIPG,” says Steve Czech. “And what’s crazy is that there aren’t many treatment options because it’s such a rare, orphan disease.” Czech’s son, Mikey, was diagnosed with a diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma … Continued

What Are the Most Common Brain Tumors?

The brain controls many vital bodily functions – and when a tumor grows into or presses on an area of the brain, it may stop that part of the brain from functioning normally. Nearly 80,000 new cases of primary brain tumors are expected to be diagnosed this year, according to the American Brain Tumor Association. … Continued

Pediatric Brain Tumor Patients Find Success with Targeted Drug

  At first, early intervention specialists told Christi Powers that her young son’s gross motor delays and poor balance were likely the result of weak muscle tone, but when Danny developed severe headaches at age 4, she took him to the emergency room. Soon the suburban Boston boy was diagnosed with a low-grade glioma, the … Continued

Dylan Discovers a New Sport During Cancer Treatment

Balloons of various colors are taped in a row across the wall. Twenty yards away, 8-year-old Dylan Berio announces “yellow,” pulls back the string of his bow, then releases – smiling as he hears the “pop.” His arrow successfully pierced the yellow balloon. Archery requires focus and precision – something Dylan has in ample quantities. … Continued

After Finishing Brain Tumor Treatment, High School Senior Graduates

The first semester of senior year is usually challenging for high school students, but Jake DeCarolis faced an additional hurdle in September 2015 when what he thought was a headache turned out to be a brain tumor. For the next six months, DeCarolis juggled homework and college applications around surgery and chemotherapy at Dana-Farber/Boston Children’s … Continued

Coping with a Pediatric Brain Tumor Diagnosis: Tips for Families

Childhood cancer is never easy for a family, and pediatric brain tumors can present a particularly difficult set of medical, cognitive, and physical challenges. Patients may face hearing and vision loss, seizures, learning disabilities, and more. Long after the disease is gone, these issues – and related emotional and social struggles – often remain. It … Continued

One Year After Brain Tumor Surgery, 10-Year-Old Celebrates with Holiday Concert

A year ago, Aimee Fellows couldn’t imagine being back at Boston Children’s Hospital, awaiting the start of another violin concert featuring her daughter. Sophie, now 10 years old, is dressed this time in a frilly white blouse, black skirt and black dress shoes, her first pair of heels, albeit little more than an inch higher … Continued

What’s New in Pediatric Brain Tumor Treatment?

As one of the most difficult cancers to treat, childhood brain tumors are the leading cause of cancer-related deaths in children under age 10. However, researchers are making more progress than ever before. “Over the last 10 years there has been a lot of excitement about new treatments for pediatric brain tumors,” says Peter Manley, … Continued

What Are the Differences Between Adult and Childhood Brain Tumors?

Brain tumors are relatively rare for people of any age, but they can occur in both children and adults. In fact, tumors of the spinal cord and brain are the second most common types of cancer in children, after leukemia. But there are some key differences between brain tumors that occur in adults and those … Continued

Brain Tumor Survivor Shares Her Tips on the College Transition

By Frannie Palmer As a kid, I stumbled on my feet quite a bit. I had to use two hands on the railing while going down stairs. My parents thought I was just a little clumsy. The truth was, a brain tumor was creating pressure on my cerebellum and causing my incoordination. I was 6-years-old … Continued