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Neuro-Oncology

Our Pediatric Neuro-Oncology Program at Johns Hopkins All Children's Hospital provides a multidisciplinary team approach to infants, children, adolescents, and young adults with brain and spinal cord tumors to provide state-of-the-art and compassionate medical care.

The Johns Hopkins All Children's Hospital Pediatric Neuro-Oncology Program consists of neuro-oncologists, neurosurgeons, neuropathologists, neuroradiologists, neurologists, and radiation oncologists. These individuals work as a team to coordinate the best plan of care for patients with CNS tumors. We offer the best quality ultra-specialized medical care at every step of the journey including high tech neuro-imaging, complex brain and spinal tumor surgery, and coordination of other services.

Our neuro-oncology team works hard to preserve all motor abilities, vision, hearing, and cognitive functioning.  We participate in precision and individualized medicine to discover genetic and molecular aspects of CNS tumors to tailor construct treatment and chemotherapy protocols for each patient. We offer experimental research clinical trials when appropriate.

Last but not least we have a team of social worker, child life specialists, chaplains, and a symptom control/palliative care team to assist as needed.  

Services offered

  • Treatment with Chemotherapy including participation in Phase 1 studies
  • Radiation therapy in collaboration with Florida Hospital Tampa and UF Proton Therapy Centers in Orlando and Jacksonville
  • Blood and Marrow Transplantation
  • Outpatient clinic and infusion center
  • Dedicated inpatient oncology unit
  • Advanced diagnostic radiology and nuclear medicine testing including MRI, PET, GFR
  • Audiology
  • Neuropsychological testing
  • Occupational, Physical, Speech and feeding therapies
  • Social work
  • Case Management 
  • Child life
  • Palliative care 
  • Pastoral care
  • End of life care in collaboration with Hospice

Research

The Pediatric Neuro-Oncology Program is strongly supported by two of Johns Hopkins All Children's Hospital's four institutes – the Cancer and Blood Disorders Institute (CBDI) and the Institute of Brain Protection Sciences (IBPS).  Weekly multidisciplinary neuro-oncology tumor boards are held to discuss patient care and clinical trial status. 

All faculty in the Pediatric Neuro-Oncology Program are board-certified in their specialties, have grant funding track records, and prior experience as investigators in clinical trials and cohort studies.  Dr. Stapleton has been Principal Investigator (PI) on 10 investigator initiated studies and has over $500,000 total grant funding. The Pediatric Neuro-Oncology Program benefits from being the only pediatric affiliate of the H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center & Research Institute, the only National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center in Florida. 
 
Johns Hopkins All Children's Hospital is a member of the Children’s Oncology Group and participates in studies pertaining to patients with CNS tumors.  In addition, JHACH has worked with several other multi-institutional consortiums by opening early- phase studies at our institution including:

  • Sunshine Project Clinical Trials and Initiatives (full member institution)
  • Pediatric Oncology Experimental Therapeutic Investigator Consortium
  • Neuroblastoma and Medulloblastoma Translational Research Consortium
  • Headstart Studies

Dr. Stapleton has experience as overall study PI with phase 1 multi-institutional studies, including phase 1 studies with additional sites in the state of Florida. When phase 1 studies have not been available, JHACH has used its extensive experience in working with the FDA toward opening compassionate use (i.e., single-use) INDs. 
 

  • The Research Operations Unit (ROU) within the JHACH Clinical and Translational Research Organization (CTRO) provides services for the design and implementation of research studies, including Research Coordinator and Research Nurse support.  
  • The CTRO’s Investigational Drug Services Unit provides investigational drug study set-up, storage, dispensing, and chain-of-custody drug accountability. The Regulatory Affairs/Quality Assurance Unit is responsible for conducting internal monitoring visits on research studies at JHACH, ensures each study is in accordance with IRB-approved protocol, established policies/procedures of JHACH, and all state/federal laws/regulations. 
  • The Clinical Research Unit (CRU), which opened in June 2017, is a 4-bed outpatient research unit, designed to optimize the execution of early-phase clinical trials and the conduct of other research-intensive visits (PKs or investigational drug infusions).
  • The JHACH neuroimaging department has recently been active in the design and execution of several investigator-initiated neuroimaging studies.  Our neuroradiology team has expertise in the development and application of innovative neuroimaging techniques, many of which are applied in research studies. 
  • The JHACH Institutional Review Board (IRB) is responsible for the oversight of all research involving human subjects that is conducted by JHACH staff and employees. The IRB reviews and approves all research activities involving human subjects to ensure that the rights, safety and welfare of the participants are protected. JHACH participates in the NCI’s Pediatric Central IRB Independent model (CIRB).