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Donations help drive brain cancer research 

When you donate to St. Jude, you're helping to fund cutting-edge research and treatment of brain cancer and brain tumors and other life-threatening diseases.

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Patient Allie, brain cancer survivor

St. Jude patient Allie


What is pediatric brain cancer?

The brain and spinal cord make up the central nervous system (CNS). CNS tumors may be benign (not cancer) or malignant (cancer). But even benign CNS tumors can cause severe problems or death.

Tumors that begin in the brain are called primary brain tumors. They may spread to other areas of the brain or spinal cord, but they do not usually spread to other parts of the body.

Brain tumors may also come from tumor cells that have spread from other parts of the body. These are called metastatic or secondary brain tumors. These tumors are named for the part of the body where they began. Secondary brain tumors are rare in children.

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What types of brain cancer does St. Jude treat?

St. Jude has one of the world’s leading brain tumor treatment programs devoted entirely to children. We specialize in treating the most challenging pediatric brain tumors, including:

A tumor that grows from brain cells called astrocytes. These cells are a type of glial cell. Glial cells make up the supportive tissue of the brain.

A rare brain tumor found on or near the brain. This solid tumor may also contain cysts, which are fluid-filled spaces. The low-grade tumor grows slowly but can cause serious illness. 

A tumor that starts in the brain stem, the part of the brain just above the back of the neck and connected to the spine. The brain stem controls breathing, heart rate and the nerves and muscles that help us see, hear, walk, talk and eat. 

A rare type of primary brain or spinal cord tumors. They are thought to develop from certain cells that normally mature into ependymal cells. Ependymal cells line the ventricles (fluid-filled spaces in the brain) and the central canal of the spinal cord. 

A brain tumor of the cerebellum. The cerebellum controls balance and coordinated movements. This fast-growing tumor can spread to other areas of the brain and spinal cord through cerebrospinal fluid.

Tumors that start from cells in the meninges, which are three thin layers of tissue covering the brain and spinal cord.


How do donations to St. Jude help brain cancer research?

St. Jude has the first and only National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center devoted solely to children. Since opening our doors in 1962, the high level of research and treatment at St. Jude has helped raise the overall childhood cancer survival rate from just 20% to over 80%.

In addition to funding treatments for patients, including surgery, chemotherapy, radiation therapy and more, brain cancer research donations help us continue to provide resources for families, such as parent support groups and mentor programs. They also help ensure no family ever receives a bill for treatment, travel, housing or food — so they can focus on helping their child live.

And donations to St. Jude allow us to make advances in the research and treatment of childhood cancers and share our breakthroughs with doctors and researchers around the world. 

St. Jude patient Allie at her wedding

St. Jude patient Allie at her wedding


How to support brain cancer research

Your donation helps St. Jude provide breakthrough research, treatment and cures for life-threatening pediatric illnesses, such as brain cancer. Your donation is tax-deductible and helps us provide children cutting-edge treatments not covered by insurance, at no cost to families.

Here are some ways to contribute to brain cancer research and treatment at St. Jude:

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Background: image of Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma (DIPG) cells.

Leukemia cells

Your support helps patients like Allie

Allie was 14 years old when doctors found a tumor the size of a golf ball in her brain. She was told she would not live to graduate high school. But today, Allie has graduated high school, college and just recently got married!

Donations to St. Jude help ensure children like Allie get the chance to grow up. 

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Allie in her wedding dress with a picture of herself in treatment

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