Brain Tumor Program

The Pediatric Brain Tumor Program provides advanced treatment for brain and spinal cord tumors in a supportive environment. Our goal is to cure as many patients as possible, while providing all patients with the best possible care and quality of life.

In our program, a broad team of specialists coordinates care for every child. Many different types of doctors, including pediatric neuro-oncologists, neurosurgeons, neurologists, rehabilitation medicine doctors and radiation oncologists work together to make a diagnosis and a treatment plan. Our team also includes psychologists, neuropsychologists, social workers, child life specialists and a school liaison specialist who can help families navigate the challenges of treatment while caring for their child's emotional and psychological health. We work closely with local and national organizations, support groups and community resources for children and their families.

Our neurologists and neurosurgeons are supported by advanced technologies that allow us to remove or destroy tumor tissue while minimizing damage to healthy tissue. For instance, using MRI scanning during surgery helps our surgeons safely remove as much of the tumor as possible. We are also one of only a few centers in California that offer a highly targeted form of radiation therapy using the Gamma Knife and CyberKnife.

We belong to several national research consortiums that are working to discover better and safer treatments for brain and spinal tumors in children. And because we are part of a leading medical research institution, our patients are among the first to benefit from new scientific findings and clinical trials

Our locations (3)

    Awards & recognition

    • Ranked among the nation's best in 10 specialties

    • Best in Northern California for cancer care

    • One of the nation's best in neurology & neurosurgery

    • in NIH funding among U.S. neurology programs

    Plan your visit

    Preparing for your appointment

    What to Bring

    • Photo I.D.
    • Health insurance card
    • Insurance authorization, if required
    • Doctor's referral, if required
    • Recent test results related to your child's condition
    • List of medications, including dosages, plus any your child is allergic to
    • List of questions you may have
    • Device or paper for taking notes

    New visitor rules

    Before you head to the hospital, check our special COVID-19 rules for visitors. Thanks!

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    Your Stay

    We offer valuable information to help you plan for your child's upcoming hospital stay. Find out about food services, family accommodations and more.

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    Your Child's Care Team

    Our doctors, nurses, child life specialists and other providers have special training to care for children. Meet your child's care team.

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    Interpreter Services & Communication Assistance

    Interpreter services in many languages and TDDs are available for families that need help communicating with care teams. Here's how to access them.

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    Clinical trials

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    Trametinib and Everolimus for the Treatment of Pediatric and Young Adult Patients With Recurrent Low Grade Gliomas

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    Selinexor in Treating Younger Patients With Recurrent or Refractory Solid Tumors or High-Grade Gliomas

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    ONC206 for Treatment of Newly Diagnosed, or Recurrent Diffuse Midline Gliomas, and Other Recurrent Malignant Brain Tumors

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    Immunotherapy (Nivolumab and Ipilimumab) Before and After Surgery for the Treatment of Recurrent or Progressive High Grade Glioma in Children and Young Adults

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    Combination Therapy for the Treatment of Diffuse Midline Gliomas

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    Support services

    Child Life Services

    Activity rooms, pet therapy and more to help kids feel at home.

    Child Life

    Certified child life specialists ease the stress and anxiety of childhood illness through therapeutic play, schooling and family-focused support.

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    Beads of Courage

    We help children cope with cancer testing and treatment challenges by awarding colorful beads for each milestone they achieve. Find out about our program.

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    Camp Okizu

    This overnight summer camp for children with cancer, siblings and families offers fun activities, education sessions and support in a beautiful setting.

    Family Amenities

    Family-friendly amenities help you relax and take care of yourself while staying close to your child. We offer lounges, kitchens, showers, breastfeeding rooms and more.

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    Social Services

    Social workers ease the effect of illness, injury and hospitalization on your family with counseling and assistance to help you navigate the challenges.

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    Activity Rooms

    Activity rooms offer a relaxed environment for children of all ages. Features include a playroom, digital arts studio and teen lounge. Find out more.

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    Art Therapy

    Art therapy helps kids and families express themselves, making it easier to cope with pediatric health issues. Group and bedside services are available.

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    Music Therapy Program

    Board-certified music therapists help kids cope with illness and the feelings that come with it. Find out about group activities and bedside therapy.

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    School Program

    Our schoolroom services and individual learning programs help children hospitalized at UCSF continue their education and get ready to return to school.

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    School Re-Entry Program

    After hospitalization, we help kids return to school by educating staff and students about their needs and recommending needed accommodations. Read more.

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    Individual Playtime & Instruction

    If your child can't be around other kids for medical reasons, you can sign up for private sessions in our activity and school rooms. Find out how.

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    Interpreter Services & Communication Assistance

    Interpreter services in many languages and TDDs are available for families that need help communicating with care teams. Here's how to access them.

    Family Resource Center

    We help families cope with the challenges of childhood illness and hospitalization in a relaxing environment where parents can get a much-needed break.

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    Parent Support Program

    Weekly activities, including knitting, scrapbooking, chair massage and more, help family caregivers get a much-needed break. Find out more.

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    Patient Relations

    Patient relations reps and nursing supervisors are here to answer questions and address concerns. Learn about your rights, how to reach us and more.

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    Spiritual Care

    Chaplains help UCSF patients, families and staff cope with the spiritual and emotional challenges of childhood illness. Learn more.

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    International Services

    If you're coming to UCSF from outside the U.S., we coordinate your child's appointments and provide other helpful services. Here's how to get started.

    Our research initiatives

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    We have interpreters for Cantonese, Mandarin, Spanish, Russian, American Sign Language and more.

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