Tap on and choose 'Add to Home Screen' to create a shortcut app

Tap on and choose 'Add to Home Screen/Install App' to create a shortcut app

Chemotherapy for Tumors in the Nervous System of Children Homepage

This page was last updated on June 9th, 2022



Juliette Hukin, M.D.

Section Editors

Kristian Aquilina, M.D.

Editor in Chief

Rick Abbott, M.D.


The cure rate for children with brain tumors has improved dramatically in the last 30 years. Chemotherapy has played an increasing role in the management of brain tumors, particularly in the last 20 years. Its role is mostly as an adjunct after resection with radiation or as alternative to radiation. In certain circumstances chemotherapy is used without resection, thus avoiding the morbidity of surgery with tumors in critical cerebral locations. It is hoped that advances in molecular biology will help direct additional therapeutic approaches for those tumors that are resistant to current therapeutic approaches.

Key Points

  • Decreased radiation dosage: Intensive chemotherapy allows avoidance of radiation in young children with certain malignant brain tumors.
  • Improved outcome for medulloblastoma: Chemotherapy has increased cure rates and allowed decreases in radiation dose in children with medulloblastoma, thus reducing long-term morbidity.
  • Improved management of benign CNS tumors: Chemotherapy can be used to manage benign brain tumors to reverse neurological dysfunction and alter biological behavior, although it is rarely curative as a single therapy. It is an important consideration in the treatment of tumors arising from midline structures that are impossible to cure with resection.
  • Improved management of germ cell tumors: Chemotherapy has improved cure rates in children with malignant germ cell tumors and allowed decreases in radiation exposure in children with germinomas.

Your donations keep us going

The ISPN Guide is free to use, but we rely on donations to fund our ongoing work and to maintain more than a thousand pages of information created to disseminate the most up-to-date knowledge in the field of paediatric neurosurgery.

By making a donation to The ISPN Guide you are also indirectly helping the many thousands of children around the world whose treatment depends on well-informed surgeons.

Please consider making a donation today.

Use the app

The ISPN Guide can be used as a standalone app, both on mobile devices and desktop computers. It’s quick and easy to use.

Fully featured

Free registration grants you full access to The Guide and host of featured designed to help further your own education.

Stay updated

The ISPN Guide continues to expand both in breadth and depth. Join our mailing list to stay up-to-date with our progress.