Dr. Sarah Leary
Dr. Nick Vitanza
Our Center of Excellence at Seattle Children’s
If your child or young adult has a brain tumor, our team has the medical and surgical expertise to help them not only survive but thrive. Seattle Children’s Brain Tumor Program cares for your child from diagnosis through all phases of treatment and follow-up survivor care, helping them grow up to be a healthy and productive adult.
Children treated at Seattle Children’s for brain tumors have survival rates that are consistently among the best in the country, and typically 10% higher than the national benchmark. Year after year, U.S. News & World Report ranks Seattle Children’s as one of the top children’s hospitals in the nation and among the nation’s best pediatric centers for cancer, neurology and neurosurgery. With the nation’s top leaders in brain tumor care and research, our Brain Tumor Program offers some of the most advanced treatments and clinical trials of any children’s hospital. If surgery is the best route to a cure, your child is in the hands of neurosurgeons skilled in innovative, minimally invasive procedures. We perform significantly more neurosurgeries than any other children’s hospital in our region (Washington, Alaska, Montana and Idaho). More cases mean greater expertise and a sharper ability to determine if surgery is even needed — and that adds up to better outcomes.
Surgical Expertise and Innovation
Research shows that centers like Seattle Children’s that do many surgeries every year are more likely to have better results for their patients. Our skill and expertise with advanced technology make brain surgery possible for more children, as well as safer and more precise. Neuroimaging helps us plan and carry out operations while protecting critical parts of your child’s brain. Seattle Children’s is among a handful of children’s hospitals to offer advances such as laser ablation and procedures using the ROSA™ robotic surgical assistant.
Precision medicine to personalize treatment
Seattle Children’s is at the forefront of precision diagnosis, using molecular profiling to identify a child’s tumor subtype and provide the best treatment. Few centers across the country can match our expertise. Knowing a child’s brain tumor molecular subtype can open the door to treatment that increases survival, as shown in a clinical trial that charts a better course for kids with high-risk medulloblastoma. State-of the art neuroimaging gives us detailed information about your child’s brain’s structure and how it works.
The state’s only comprehensive cancer center
Seattle Children’s partnership with Fred Hutchinson and the University of Washington is designated a comprehensive cancer center by the National Cancer Institute — the only one in Washington state. This partnership improves access to cutting-edge advances in basic science, new therapies and supportive care for your child. Learn how we care for children and young adults with brain tumors.
Access to clinical trials offered only at top centers
Children we treat have access to new options in clinical trials that are often not available at other hospitals. These include CAR T-cell immunotherapy for especially hard-to-treat brain tumors like diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma (DIPG). We offer research studies of novel therapies for children with all types of tumors. We are the only center on the West Coast that is a member of both the Pacific Pediatric Neuro-Oncology Consortium (PNOC) and the Collaborative Network for Neuro-oncology Clinical Trials (CONNECT).
Focused on long-term health
We take care of your whole child, looking ahead to a healthy future. If cancer or treatment may harm their fertility, we talk about options for fertility preservation. After treatment ends, our Cancer Survivor Program will help keep your child healthy over the long term. We partner with the Survivorship Program at Fred Hutch to transition survivors to adult care when they are ready.
Our Brain Tumor Program brings together a coordinated care team of experts, including pediatric neurosurgeons, neuro-oncologists and radiation oncologists. We see patients together in our weekly multidisciplinary Brain Tumor Clinic, and the whole team meets as a group each week at our Brain Tumor Board. Together, we review all the information on your child to develop their diagnosis and treatment plan. After the meeting we talk with you about the plan. Together, we build the best care plan for your child.