The management of children with brain and spinal cord tumors is extremely complex. The multidisciplinary Pediatric Neuro-Oncology (PNO) program at Johns Hopkins is noted for the comprehensive care that is provided to all children diagnosed with a brain or spinal cord tumor and his/her family. Each year our practitioners at Johns Hopkins treat between 80-100 children. In addition, a similar number of children's cases are reviewed as second opinions sent from around the world.
Listen to Ken Cohen, M.D. Discuss Childhood Brain Cancers
The clinical management of every child seen at Johns Hopkins with a brain tumor centers around the multidisciplinary PNO conference. This weekly conference is attended many subspecialists including:
- Pediatric neuro-oncology
- Pediatric neurosurgery
- Pediatric radiation oncology
- Pediatric neurology
- Social work
Each child's case is presented at the conference and discussed in-depth so that an appropriate plan of care is determined that is specifically designed for that child. To ensure that the best possible care is provided, the PNO program at Johns Hopkins has access to the following services:
• State of the art neurosurgical technologies include 3D navigation systems and intraoperative MRI technology
• Radiation therapy technologies that allow for the most precise delivery of radiation in an effort to spare normal brain tissue from the impact of radiation treatment. These include technologies such as IMRT and gamma knife
• Access to the most innovative clinical trials for children with newly diagnosed brain tumors as well as for those children requiring further treatment should the brain or spinal cord tumor return or progress
• Access to other services as required including pediatric neurology, neuro-ophthalmology and endocrinology
• Neuropsychologic assessment to gauge the impact of the tumor and treatment on the ongoing development of the child
• Ready access to social workers, child life specialists and others who make certain that all aspects of the child’s life are attended to both during, and following treatment
Referrals can be made by contacting Gladys Novak at 410-614-5055.
Pilomyxoid Astrocytoma (PMA) Registry
Johns Hopkins experts were the first to identify a class of brain cancers in children called pilomyxoid astrocytoma or PMA. Kenneth J. Cohen, MD, MBA, director of pediatric neuro-oncology, coordinates the Pilomyxoid Astrocytoma (PMA) Registry to gather information to help refine treatments and develop new ones.