Brain Tumor Diagnosis & Treatments

During diagnosis, a physician will review a complete medical history of your child, conduct a physical examination and complete a neurological exam to test reflexes, muscle strength, eye and mouth movement, coordination and alertness. Advanced technology may also be used in the diagnostic process, including:

We take specialized and evidence-based approaches to diagnosing children’s brain tumors, and then seek out the appropriate treatment. Our physicians make every attempt to stay at the forefront of treatment advances, making sure they provide our patients with the best care possible. Our multidisciplinary approach to care means that we consult with specialists from multiple hospital divisions — as many as it takes to get a complete and comprehensive treatment plan for your child.

Treatments may include:

  • Surgery
  • Chemotherapy
  • Medical imaging
  • A ventriculoperitoneal shunt
  • Third ventriculostomy
  • Lumbar puncture/spinal tap
  • Bone marrow aspiration
  • Medications
  • Rehabilitation
  • Continuous follow-up care and supportive care
We also offer patients access to treatments through numerous ongoing clinical trials.

Proton Therapy

Lurie Children's offers patients with pediatric brain tumors access to proton therapy, an advanced form of cancer therapy that precisely targets radiation to tumors, through the Northwestern Medicine Chicago Proton Center. Our multidisciplinary Brain Tumor Board plays an integral role in the clinical review of all pediatric brain and central nervous system tumor patients referred to the center.

Learn more about proton therapy and its benefits.​