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Brain Tumor Eligibility Requirements

Doctor holds child while pointing to brain diagnostic image

We know that a brain tumor diagnosis in a child can be frightening and urgent for a parent, family member, or referring physician. Our expert brain tumor doctors and experienced staff offer the latest high-quality treatment, compassionate care, and support for children with brain tumors. 

At St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, we place special emphasis on clinical trials because we are always trying to make treatment better. Through clinical trials our doctors can offer patients carefully researched alternatives to standard therapy that we expect will result in improvements in survival and/or less side effects.

Why St. Jude for brain tumor treatment?

St. Jude provides the highest quality of care for patients with brain tumors:

  • St. Jude is the only National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center just for children.
  • Our clinic brings together medical experts and specially trained staff to care for your child. We also work with brain surgeons (neurosurgeons) at Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital.
  • Our brain tumor clinical trials have led to the clinical use of better therapies in children such as lower dose therapies, targeted therapy, and proton therapy. These treatments kill cancer cells while sparing healthy cells, and may lessen the severity of side effects that affect brain function after treatment for brain tumors such as medulloblastoma.
  • The St. Jude Proton Therapy Center is the first center in the world that treats only children with this therapy.
  • The nurse-to-patient ratio at St. Jude is 1:3 in hematology and oncology and 1:1 in the Intensive Care Unit.
  • We have a special team that helps patients whose tumors are hard to treat. This team studies:
    • How drugs kill cancer cells
    • How the immune system fights cancer
    • How to use drugs and the immune system with other therapies to kill cancer cells
    • What makes cancer cells grow so we can make new agents to stop it

Learn more about the types of brain tumors we treat at St. Jude.

St. Jude clinical trials for brain tumor treatment

St. Jude clinical trials have produced new, groundbreaking treatments for serious childhood diseases. Our doctors and scientists work together to find better ways to treat patients. This can be a major advantage for coming to St. Jude because the new treatments are being developed on the campus where patients receive their care.

We also take part in trials developed by the Children's Oncology Group (COG) and the Pediatric Brain Tumor Consortium (PBTC). Many of our faculty members play key roles in developing these large trials that take place at centers across the United States.

Learn more about clinical research at St. Jude and brain tumor clinical trials. Read about how our brain tumor research has helped patients.

Brain tumor patient acceptance policy

The Brain Tumor Program at St. Jude welcomes referral requests for infants, children, or adolescents from birth to 22 years old who meet at least 1 of these requirements:

  • Has a newly diagnosed brain tumor that has not been treated before, and meets the eligibility requirements for an open St. Jude clinical trial or one of our St. Jude Affiliates.
  • Was treated for a brain tumor somewhere else and is eligible for an open phase 1 or 2 clinical trial. St. Jude considers cases on an individual basis.
  • Has a brain tumor we treat and lives in the Memphis area, whether a clinical trial is available or not.
  • Needs treatment that St. Jude can provide that is different from what can be offered locally, even if there is not an open clinical trial. St. Jude will consider cases on an individual basis.

A patient is accepted for treatment if:

  • They meet eligibility requirements for treatment at St. Jude
  • They meet the eligibility requirements for an open clinical trial at St. Jude or a St. Jude Affiliate

St. Jude accepts patients based on eligibility to enroll in an open clinical trial regardless of the patient’s:

  • Race
  • Sex
  • Ethnicity
  • Religion
  • Nationality
  • Ability to pay

How to get brain tumor treatment at St. Jude

You can start the referral process by letting your physician know you would like a second opinion from St. Jude. They can contact our 24-hour beeper service or contact our brain tumor coordinator. You may also contact the brain tumor coordinator directly with questions.

Depending on your child’s tumor and where you live, you may be able to get care closer to home at one of our St. Jude Affiliate clinics.

Physician / Patient Referral Office

Call: 1-888-226-4343 (toll-free) or 901-595-4055 (local)  | Email:
Fax: 901-595-4011 | 24-hour pager: 1-800-349-4334

Contact the Brain Tumor Team directly:

Submit brain tumor contact form

Contact the Surgery Team directly:


Staying healthy after brain tumor treatment

We help your child stay healthy as a brain tumor survivor when they finish treatment. A child who gets brain tumor treatment at St. Jude is eligible for long-term treatment and care at the After Completion of Therapy (ACT) Clinic.

The ACT Clinic provides follow-up care for St. Jude patients for 10 years, or until your child is 18, whichever comes later.  

Learn more