Each year, about 4,000 children and teens in the U.S. are diagnosed with brain tumors—the most common pediatric solid tumor.
The Aflac Cancer and Blood Disorders Center of Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta offers a team of providers with specialized expertise in treating all forms of childhood brain and spinal cord tumors. Each year, our program cares for more than 750 children and young adults with central nervous system (CNS) tumors, making us the largest treatment center for pediatric brain cancer in the country.
By using diverse treatment protocols, including state-of-the-art neurosurgical techniques, radiation treatment, chemotherapy with peripheral blood stem cell transplantation, and highly innovative phase I and phase II trials of novel agents for children whose cancer has relapsed or is not responding to standard treatment, we are able to offer comprehensive medical care for patients of all ages and with all stages of disease. Combining the latest proven technology and research with a caring, child-friendly approach makes the Aflac Cancer and Blood Disorders Center a top choice for the treatment of childhood brain and spinal cord tumors.
Aflac Cancer and Blood Disorders Center Highlights
Research Rock Star: Tobey J. MacDonald, MD
Dr. Tobey MacDonald launched his clinical trial to test a new therapy with a dual-acting STAT3 inhibitor to help slow brain tumor growth and enable a path to recovery.
Leading the fight against pediatric cancer and blood disorders
In 2020, the Aflac Cancer and Blood Disorders Center took assertive and significant strides toward changing the future of pediatric cancer and blood disorders treatment.
Every child deserves a lifetime
We are dedicated to giving pediatric cancer patients their childhood back through exceptional clinical care and groundbreaking research.
The Aflac Cancer and Blood Disorders Center is committed to excellence and innovation in pediatric cancer and blood disorders research. As Georgia’s top pediatric cancer research center, we are home to one of the largest clinical trial programs in the country, through which we offer our patients access to novel childhood cancer and blood disorders treatment options.
- We have seven pediatric brain tumor physicians and researchers, making us one of the largest single-center pediatric groups assembled for this disease.
- We offer innovative treatments for childhood brain and spinal cord tumors through clinical trials sponsored by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), providing the most cutting-edge treatments for brain tumors through the Children’s Oncology Group (COG) Phase I Consortium and other multicenter sponsored trials.
- We are one of 21 members of the COG Phase I Consortium, allowing us to offer the most cutting-edge treatments for all children with refractory brain cancers.
- We are one of 18 members of the U.S. Department of Defense Neurofibromatosis Clinical Trials Consortium, offering innovative clinical trials specifically for patients with neurofibromatosis (Type I and Type II).
- We are a member of the prestigious Pediatric Brain Tumor Consortium (PBTC)—one of 11 centers nationwide.
- We offer advanced imaging and neurosurgery capabilities, such as MRI software and techniques, an intraoperative MRI (iMRI) system, positron emission tomography (PET) scanning, Gamma Knife technology, and stereotactic radiosurgery and radiotherapy.
- We are one of only two institutions in the country offering a first-in-pediatrics clinical trial using Indoximod, an inhibitor of an immune “checkpoint” pathway used to treat pediatric patients with refractory malignant brain tumors.
- In collaboration with Georgia Institute of Technology, our team is developing nanoparticles for drug delivery across the blood-brain barrier to specifically target pediatric brain tumors.
- We have physicians and physician scientists with national and international leadership roles in developmental therapeutics and the diagnosis and treatment of childhood medulloblastoma, glioblastoma, diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma (DIPG), atypical teratoid rhabdoid tumor (ATRT) and infant malignant brain tumor.
- Our team of NIH-funded, translational researchers has directly applied new knowledge and advances developed within our laboratories to clinical trials aimed at childhood brain cancer.
- We have developed a robust pediatric brain tumor biorepository and xenograft core, which provides tumor tissue and cells to investigators throughout the country so that we may contribute to advancing science nationwide toward the cure for pediatric brain cancer.
Our Multidisciplinary Approach to Treatment and Recovery:
Receiving a cancer diagnosis for your child can be an emotional and overwhelming experience. At the Aflac Cancer and Blood Disorders Center, we are here to support you and your family. Whether treating a toddler during an emergency or helping a teen through chemotherapy treatments, we make it our mission to provide the best care—and best experience—for every child. Family is a big part of your child’s well-being. Not only are you a vital member of your child’s healthcare team; you are a source of security and comfort.
We work to support your whole family while your child is in our care—and after she goes home.
Children’s trial treats recurring malignant brain tumors with “double-knockout” STAT3 inhibitor
With support from the Peach Bowl LegACy Fund and CURE Childhood Cancer, Tobey MacDonald, MD, Director of the Neuro-Oncology Program, is now recruiting patients for a dual-acting treatment trial that he hopes will slow tumor growth, eventually enabling a path to recovery.read more
- Anna Janss, MD, PhD, Clinical Director
- Tobey MacDonald, MD, Program Director
- Dolly Aguilera, MD
- Robert Castellino, MD
- Jason Fangusaro, MD
- Claire Mazewski, MD
- Anna Kenney, PhD
Advanced practice providers:
- Brooke Patteson, PNP
- Michelle Folkert, PNP
- Rachel Gray, PA-C