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Leading Pediatric Neuro-Oncology in Central Florida
Caring for a child with brain cancer is complicated and requires the involvement of many healthcare experts. To ensure the best treatment for your child from day one, it’s important that families find a center of medical excellence for care at diagnosis. The Brain Tumor Program at Arnold Palmer Hospital is the only such program in Florida that brings together pediatric neuro-oncology, pediatric neurosurgery, proton therapy, and a free-standing children’s hospital on one campus. Our physicians and staff are trained and dedicated to care for babies, children, and young adults fighting brain and spinal cord tumors.
Pediatric Brain Cancer Treatment in Partnership with Families
Our neuro-oncology healthcare team is made up of medical, nursing, psychosocial and research experts. Using a whole team approach, the entire family receives care personalized to their child’s diagnosis and needs. We partner with patients and families to make good decisions about immediate and long-term health. This effort involves many people and services at Arnold Palmer Hospital including:
- Expert medical care provided by nationally-recognized brain tumor expert and program director Amy Smith, MD and her partner Ana Aguilar-Bonilla, MD. Both are both board-certified doctors who only treat brain tumor patients.
- Other expert doctors who are critical to the diagnosis and care of neuro-oncology patients, including pediatric neurosurgeons, radiation oncologists, neuro-pathologists, and radiologists.
- Medical and nursing staff with training in pediatric neuro-oncology. Dedicated staffing offers comfort and familiarity to our patients, while making sure the care we provide is safe with side effects addressed quickly.
- Neuro-oncology social work support which offers crisis counseling, financial help and care coordination.
- Play intervention and therapy with our outstanding team of Child Life specialists who support children and families as they cope with illness, hospitalizations, and disability.
- Proton therapy at the Marjorie and Leonard Williams Center for Proton Therapy. Proton therapy provides precision cancer treatment while minimizing harmful side effects and is often recommended for pediatric brain tumor patients.
- Access to new therapies through our research network and the option to participate in our Pediatric Neuro-Oncology Bio and Data Bank.
Along with our caring healthcare team, our outpatient and inpatient cancer-specific facilities are designed to welcome and nurture your family. Our child-centered radiology facilities specialize in imaging kids and making them comfortable during each visit. And for visiting family members, housing is available at the Ronald McDonald House right next to Arnold Palmer Hospital.
Pediatric Oncology Clinical Trials and Research
As our knowledge about brain tumors grows, treatment continues to evolve. Often, the most encouraging therapies our patients receive occur in clinical research studies (also known as clinical trials). Our team has wide access to clinical trials and extensive experience in managing these trials.
Arnold Palmer Hospital doctors are active in the Pediatric Oncology Experimental Therapeutics Investigators’ Consortium (POETIC) and the Children’s Oncology Group (COG). We also work with well-known pediatric cancer hospitals, such as St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, to give children new treatments that offer hope.
Pediatric Brain Cancer Research Bio and Data Bank
Our patients also have the option to “bank” their health information and any leftover blood, tissue, or other samples for future research. Doing so supports our ongoing efforts to learn how to better treat and prevent pediatric brain tumors.
For more information about our program, please call 321.843.7312. Referring physicians are encouraged to contact Dr. Smith or Dr. Aguilar directly for any suspected central nervous system tumor, newly diagnosed or recurrent patient.