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Pediatric Brain and Spinal Cord Tumors

Highest-ranked Pediatric Neurosurgery & Neurology program in North Florida.

University of Florida Shands Children’s Hospital and its pediatric tumor program are ranked by U.S. News and World Report among the nation’s best. This recognition, combined with an overall mission to care for and support our patients and families, leads to advanced treatment with a personalized touch from our pediatric neuro-oncology team.

Our interdisciplinary clinical team includes pediatric experts from numerous departments throughout UF Health. These include: neuro-oncology, neurosurgery, radiation oncology, neurology, neuroradiology, neuropathology, bone marrow transplant, anesthesiology, and neuropsychology. The care of children at University of Florida Shands Children’s Hospital is aided greatly by the full range of pediatric services, including nursing, physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy, social work, and child life. The new UF Health Neuromedicine tower provides a welcoming clinic space for outpatient visits as well as intraoperative MRI.

The highly trained physicians and scientists at the Preston A. Wells Jr. Center for Brain Tumor Therapy take a patient-centered approach to care. Because no two individuals respond in the same way to any treatment, the multidisciplinary team of specialists provides highly individualized diagnostics and treatment plans. The ultimate goal is to provide the optimal patient experience.

Our team is experienced in formulating effective treatments for all types of brain tumors, including:

Understanding treatment options

Every child and his or her family members will meet with a brain tumor specialist, usually at the neurosurgery outpatient practice. After a detailed discussion of the options and risks, treatment will be scheduled. If a surgical or radio-surgical procedure is needed, it will be performed at the patient's convenience within one week.

The case will be presented to our weekly brain tumor board when members of the clinical team will gather to review the case in detail and formulate the most personalized treatment plan for additional therapy.

Currently, there are several ongoing clinical trials for pediatric brain and spine tumors at UF. In addition, we are the only Southeast US member of the Pacific Pediatric Neuro-Oncology Consortium (PNOC). This network of 18 children’s hospitals is dedicated to translating the latest findings in cancer biology and personalized medicine into better treatment for children with brain and spine tumors. We are also the only Florida member of the Pediatric Brain Tumor Consortium (PBTC). The PBTC was formed by the National Cancer Institute (NCI) in 1999 to improve the treatment of primary brain tumors in children. The participating centers are responsible for the diagnosis and treatment of a large percentage of children with primary brain tumors in the United States. All of these allow us to provide the latest treatments to our patients.

Meet the Clinical Team

Leading the way in national brain tumor research

The Preston A. Wells Jr. Center for Brain Tumor Therapy is home to some of the most advanced neuro-oncology research in the world. The Lillian S. Wells Department of Neurosurgery at the University of Florida is one of the top-funded neurosurgery departments in the United States. Supported by the National Institutes of Health and other grant sources, the department is a destination for some of the top researchers in the area of neuro-oncology. The brain tumor research teams at the center include more than 20 scientists who are focused on finding a cure for brain cancer.

Meet the Research Team

Florida Center for Brain Tumor Research

Since 2006, experts within the Florida Center for Brain Tumor Research, or FCBTR, at the Evelyn F. and William L. McKnight Brain Institute at UF have worked with hospitals statewide to collect tissue and disseminate data on brain tumors, creating a powerful tool to facilitate clinical trials, funding opportunities, and research collaborations.

FCBTR is a collaborative effort, sponsored by the state of Florida, and its Scientific Advisory Council includes top researchers from H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center and Research Institute, Mayo Clinic, Cleveland Clinic Florida, The Herbert Wertheim UF Scripps Institute for Biomedical Innovation & Technology, Orlando Health UF Health Cancer Center - Orlando Health, University of Miami and a representative of neurosurgeons in private practice. FCBTR has sponsored annual statewide brain tumor biomedical technology summits to encourage collaboration.



At UF Health Shands Children’s Hospital, every child diagnosed with a condition requiring neurosurgical expertise is cared for with an individualized treatment plan. We see patients within just a few days for non-emergency cases and within 24 hours for urgent cases.

Phone Numbers

  • New Patient Appointments
    (352) 273-6990
  • Main Office
    (352) 273-9000

Our locations

See all 8 locations

Clinical Trials: Pediatric Brain and Spinal Cord Tumors

UF Health research scientists make medicine better every day. They discover new ways to help people by running clinical trials. When you join a clinical trial, you can get advanced medical care. Sometimes years before it's available everywhere. You can also help make medicine better for everyone else. If you'd like to learn more about clinical trials, visit our clinical trials page. Or click one of the links below:


The purpose of this study is to evaluate the safety and efficacy of embolization of the middle meningeal artery (MMA) using the Onyx™ Liquid Embolic System (LES) for treatment of symptomatic subacute or chronic subdural hematoma (SDH)

Matthew J Koch
Accepting Candidates
18 Years - 90 Years
PNOC020:RNA-Lipid Particle Vaccines for Newly Diagnosed Ped HGG and Adult GBM

The primary objective will be to demonstrate the manufacturing feasibility and safety, and to determine the maximum tolerated dose (MTD) of RNA-LP vaccines in (Stratum 1) adult patients with newly diagnosed GBM (MGMT unmethylated). Funding Source *…

Marcia B Hodik, Ashley Ghiaseddin
Accepting Candidates
21 Years - N/A

Community and Patient Programs: Pediatric Brain and Spinal Cord Tumors

Our community and patient programs provide great value to patients, families and loved ones. People can find support, educational materials, expert consultants and more. In most instances, these programs are offered free of charge.

News and Patient Stories: Pediatric Brain and Spinal Cord Tumors

More Pediatric Brain and Spinal Cord Tumors stories