Over the past 15 years, St. Jude has developed a major program dedicated to the care of children with brain tumors. This program is committed to ideal patient care in a setting that emphasizes clinical investigation. The program provides opportunities to explore new forms of treatment for brain tumors that threaten the length and quality of a child’s life.
The extent to which the brain tumor program is integrated with other hospital areas is unique. The clinical program is a partnership between radiation oncology and hematology-oncology departments. The program is supported by other services, including neurology, pathology nursing, psychology and rehabilitation.
We work closely with the pediatric neurosurgeons at Le Bonheur Children’s Medical Center in Memphis. The childhood brain tumor program offers a closely knit, multidisciplinary group of physicians, scientists, nurses and support staff. These individuals provide the treatment and support that is crucial to the comprehensive care of children with brain tumors.
It is also the only pediatric brain tumor program that works in direct collaboration with a research department in developmental neurobiology, established in 1995 to study the causes of childhood brain tumors.
St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital is the first and only National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center devoted solely to children.
Since its beginning, the St. Jude Brain Tumor Program has focused on the most challenging problems in pediatric neuro-oncology. We treat the most common and potentially life-threatening pediatric brain tumors: medulloblastoma, malignant gliomas, low-grade gliomas and tumors in children younger than 3 years old. In each instance, we combine the skill and experience of an outstanding team dedicated to working with children who have brain tumors.
This team includes neurosurgeons at Le Bonheur Children’s Medical Center and St. Jude specialists in neuro-oncology and pediatric radiation oncology. We are supported by an array of other physicians, including those in neuro-imaging, neuropsychology, neuropathology and neuroendocrinology. Our staff includes specially trained nurses and nurse practitioners, rehabilitation specialists and technologists in psychology and audiometry.
St. Jude has created more clinical trials for cancer than any other children’s hospitals in the United States.
The nurse-to-patient ratio at St. Jude is unmatched — averaging 1:3 in hematology and oncology, and 1:1 in the Intensive Care Unit.