In America alone, more than 21,000 children have been diagnosed with a brain tumor. Four out of 10 die within five years of their diagnosis. Those sobering statistics, provided by the Central Brain Tumor Registry of the United States, are exacerbated by the fact that the incidence of brain tumors is increasing, but the reasons for the increase remain unknown.
In fact, pediatric brain cancer has become the most deadly disease in children. Last year, Dr. Alan R. Cohen, chief of pediatric neurosurgery and surgeon-in-chief at Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospital, fought back, announcing plans to build a pediatric brain tumor center at Rainbow. “The goal of our whole effort is to reduce those statistics significantly through medical, surgical and research efforts,” says Cohen. “Just as the medical field did with leukemia.”
Cohen is currently working closely with a prominent Cleveland family that lost a child to brain cancer and who will soon make a significant donation that will enable Rainbow to launch the center and, among other things, recruit prominent researchers and clinicians in the field of pediatric brain cancer.
Aside from additional specialized researchers, Rainbow already has most of the components in place, including a full staff of neuroradiologists, surgeons and nurses; computer-guided and minimally invasive neurosurgery capabilities; a blood conservation center; a neuroscience research center; and the Lance Armstrong Foundation Center for Cancer Survivors.