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Seattle Children's Brain Tumor Program patient and physician smiling

Seattle Children’s Brain Tumor Program

Expert, Compassionate Care With Excellent Outcomes

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.

US News and World Report Best Children's Hospitals Badge, 2023-2024

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.


Why choose our brain tumor program?

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.

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.

Dr. Ojemann examines a young patient's head at Seattle Children's Brain Tumor Program

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.

Masked researchers in the lab at Seattle Children's

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).

Dr Sato holds hands with a red haired patient at Seattle Children's Brain Tumor Program

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.

Meet Your Brain Tumor Team

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. Meet Your Team.

Conditions We Treat

Learn more about how we treat children and teens with all types of central nervous system tumors, including:

  • Low-grade glioma (LGG), including pilocytic astrocytoma and diffuse astrocytoma
  • High-grade glioma (HGG)
  • Diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma (DIPG) and other diffuse midline gliomas with H3K27 alterations (DMG)
  • Embryonal tumor with multilayered rosettes (ETMR)
  • Rare tumors
  • Medulloblastoma
  • Atypical teratoid/rhabdoid tumor (ATRT)
  • Ependymoma
  • Tumors of the pituitary
  • Germ cell tumors
  • Craniopharyngioma

Patient Success Stories

More than 80% of the children and teens we treat for brain tumors are cured.  

Seattle Children's Brain Tumor Program patient reclines on couch with mother

“The surgery was risky and giving the green light was the most difficult decision I’ve ever made, but that day in January ended up being the happiest of my life. We never dared to think that the doctors could get 100% of Avery's tumor while protecting what made our daughter herself.”

- Kristie Berg, Avery's mom


Read about Avery’s journey

Seattle Children's Brain Tumor Program patient stands smiling in front of Seattle Children's Hospital building

“I was told it was about a two-year recovery process after surgery and that after two years, that was as good as I was going to get. But, every year, I somehow reach a new height.”

— Liesel, Seattle Children's patient and recent Harvard graduate


Read Liesel's story

Getting Care at Our Brain Tumor Program

Many children and families travel to Seattle Children's for brain tumor treatment and surgery. You can stay focused on your child while we help coordinate transportation and housing. We have lots of experience helping families make the transition back home safely.

Paying for Care

Learn about paying for care at Seattle Children’s, including insurance coverage, billing and financial assistance.

Call the Brain Tumor Program at 206-987-2106 if you have questions or would like more information.

If you would like an appointment, ask your child’s primary care provider for a referral.

If you have a referral, contact the Brain Tumor Program at 206-987-2106 or by email.

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