Our physicians are leaders in pediatric brain tumor research. The Brain Tumor and Neuro-Oncology Program provides ample opportunities for children to participate in clinical trials — studies that evaluate the safety and effectiveness of proposed new treatments.

Clinical trials give children the chance to access new treatments before they are routinely available. We will work with your family to help you decide if a clinical trial is the right choice for your child.

In addition, our physicians also study brain tumors in the laboratory, searching for new and better approaches to treatment.

More Treatment Options for Your Child

We constantly look for new ways to treat brain tumors in children. Many of the clinical trials we offer at St. Louis Children’s Hospital are not available anywhere else in the region.

Types of clinical trials we offer include:

  • Targeted drug therapy: Innovative new drugs that can target or shut down gene mutations driving tumor growth
  • Immunotherapy: A modified vaccine used to stop tumor growth and destroy cancer cells

Through the Pacific Pediatric Neuro-Oncology Consortium (PNOC), we collaborate with hospitals around the country and the world to find the newest and best treatments for children with brain tumors. Our participation and leadership in this network provides your child more options — including the chance to participate in clinical trials conducted at other hospitals.

Learn more about the Pacific Pediatric Neuro-Oncology Consortium.

Find a Pediatric Brain Tumor Trial

Search for active clinical trials.

Research Consortiums

The brain tumor program is an active member of the below consortiums. Membership in these elite groups not only reaffirms our status as a leader in brain tumor research, but also provides a forum where our research scientists can advance their discoveries and develop exciting new treatments. This means our patients and families have access to the latest clinical research protocols with the newest therapies, giving them the best chance to win their battle against cancer.

We are members of:

Ongoing studies

At SLCH and Siteman Kids, all of the physicians who treat your child are involved in active studies seeking to better understand pediatric brain tumors and develop new approaches to treatment. Some of our initiatives and areas of focus are described below.

Preclinical pipeline

Our preclinical pipeline involves members of neurosurgery, pediatric oncology, radiation oncology, and radiology. We have three pillar goals:

  • The development of novel treatments
  • The development of improved drug delivery platforms
  • The improvement of long-term outcomes after pediatric brain tumor treatment

It is our long-term plan to bring this work to clinical trial through our membership in The Pacific Pediatric Neuro-Oncology Consortium (PNOC).

Novel drug delivery platforms

We have worked collaboratively for years on packaging drugs in nanoparticles for enhanced delivery to brain tumors. Recently, this work has merged with other collaborative work on applying focused ultrasound (FUS) to clinical indications in pediatric brain tumor treatment. This includes blood-brain barrier disruption for enhanced direct or nanoparticle-based drug delivery, FUS-aided brain tumor delivery of intranasally administered drugs, and liquid biopsy for diagnostic purposes, evaluating drug efficacy, and monitoring for tumor relapse.

Outcomes research

We have a long-standing interest in improving cognitive outcomes for survivors of pediatric brain tumors. We have enrolled more than 80 patients in a longitudinal study of cognitive function and correlated functional brain imaging in order to develop additional sensitive markers of cognitive function with two long-term goals:

  • Develop methods for risk stratifying patients at the time of diagnosis into groups with high and low risk of poor cognitive outcome. This stratification tool would be utilized to modify upfront therapy to reduce the risk of cognitive decline.
  • Develop more sensitive tools for measuring cognitive function to aid in the development of interventional trials for cognitive recovery.

International tumor board

We host a monthly, collaborative international tumor board between the pediatric neuro-oncology program at SLCH and more than 22 institutions from 14 countries, providing a valuable tool for the management of pediatric brain tumors with the implementation of a multi-disciplinary approach and standardization of care.