Medulloblastoma Patient Ready to Be a Positive Light for Others

Erica Domeier thought she would be preparing for her upcoming graduation and making plans for her final summer before college in June 2014. Instead, the 17-year-old was in the hospital, having recently been diagnosed with brain cancer. It was the beginning of what would be a difficult road for Domeier. But today, because of her … Read more

Diving Into Ependymomas, Hard-to-Treat Pediatric Brain Tumors

Ependymomas are some of the most difficult-to-treat brain tumors. Mariella Filbin, MD, PhD, a neuro-oncologist at Dana-Farber/Boston Children’s Cancer and Blood Disorders Center, is driven by a desire to find new therapies for these pediatric brain tumors. At the core of her work is an effort to uncover the events that shape tumor development. Defining how … Read more

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 … Read more

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 … Read more

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 … Read more

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 … Read more

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 … Read more

From Grief Comes Knowledge: Family of Pediatric Brain Tumor Patient Shares Their Story

There is no greater pain than losing one’s child, but Jessica Horak Stout has derived something positive from her son Ryland’s passing – a teaching moment for medical experts on what it’s like to grieve through a parent’s eyes. Horak Stout co-wrote a book with her father Walter Horak that details the year that Ryland … Read more

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 … Read more

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 … Read more

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 … Read more

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 most … Read more

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. … Read more

Cancer Conversations Podcast – Episode #11: Advances in Pediatric Brain Tumor Treatment

Perhaps more than any other childhood cancer, pediatric brain tumor treatment is incredibly complex and takes a team effort to care for a patient. Doctors and researchers are working to not only improve medicines and treatment methods, they are also striving to improve quality of life and long-term side effects for young patients. “The goal … Read more

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 … Read more

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 … Read more