Brain Tumor Treatment

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Childhood brain and spinal tumors are rare, but Kentucky has the third-highest rate in the country for central nervous system tumors in children. Because the disease is prevalent here, we’ve created the Norton Children’s Brain & Spinal Tumor Program.

When a child with a brain or spinal tumor — whether benign or malignant — comes to Norton Children’s, they benefit from varying viewpoints, training and experiences from the specialists at Norton Children’s Cancer Institute and Norton Children’s Neuroscience Institute, both affiliated with the UofL School of Medicine.

When pediatric brain and spinal tumors are discovered early, our specialists can often can find a cure.

As a multidisciplinary program, the Norton Children’s Brain & Spinal Tumor Program offers families the convenience of having all specialty providers in one place. That means multiple appointments can be scheduled for the same day and location, and patients benefit from close collaboration by neuroscience and cancer specialists.

What to Expect From Norton Children’s Brain & Spinal Tumor Program 

  • If your child has just been diagnosed, we offer same-day and next business day appointments for urgent referrals.
  • Each child’s case is reviewed by a board of specialists who discuss possible treatment plans, so the patient benefits from a broad array of expertise, experience, training and research.
  • Neurologists, oncologists and other specialists see patients at the same location, making travel easier for families because appointments are scheduled for the same day.
  • Board-certified and fellowship-trained specialists at the forefront of new treatment advances work to attack tumors while protecting healthy brain and spinal tissue.
  • Norton Children’s Hospital is part of an elite group of pediatric hospitals that perform MRI-guided laser ablation surgery using the minimally invasive Visualase system to destroy diseased tissue, including deep brain tumors.
  • Support groups, social workers, psychiatrists, school liaison specialists and child life specialists identify and address the needs of patients and their families during and after medical treatment.
  • We help prepare for the transition back to school, determine appropriate educational placement and identify any additional services through a neuropsychologist evaluation.
  • Integrated rehabilitation by physical and occupational therapists begins as early as possible during treatment to give patients the greatest benefit.
  • Communicate with your provider, manage appointments, refill prescriptions and more anytime from a computer or mobile device with a free Norton MyChart account.

“The most common solid tumors in childhood, brain tumors make up as much as a quarter of all childhood cancers. It’s our mission to help children with brain tumors live long, fruitful lives. I’m very thankful to my patients and their families for their trust as they are indeed the most brave people I know.”

Mustafa Barbour, M.D.
Pediatric Hematologist/Oncologist
Medical Co-director, Brain & Spinal Tumor Program

“Our multidisciplinary structure allows us to harness the expertise of every different medical provider, providing better care for patients. They get the advantage of having multiple specialists helping take care of them all at the same time. And patients love it. They love to have a one-stop shop where all the doctors are here.”

Michael Angelo C. Huang, M.D.
Pediatric Hematologist/Oncologist
Medical Co-director, Brain & Spinal Tumor Program


Brain & Spinal Tumor Program specialists treat a comprehensive range of masses, whether benign or malignant. They have the skills and experience to precisely diagnose and treat any brain tumor while working to preserve healthy brain tissue to help children grow to their full potential.

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Patient Support

Our care goes beyond clinical treatments. The Brain & Spinal Tumor Program offers educational, physical and emotional support to each child and family from diagnosis through treatment and beyond.

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Clinical Trials

Our physicians are leaders in discovering new treatment options for brain and spinal tumors. When new therapies are approved for broad use, our providers often are already deeply experienced in their use because of their role in clinical trials. Patients also benefit from access to experimental treatments.

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