Guidance for Services for Children and Young People with Brain and Spinal Tumour


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“Every parent’s nightmare is that their child’s headache will prove to be the first pointer to a brain tumour. For one family in 2,000 this proves to be true. The clinical teams caring for and advising these families have to be confident that they are offering the best care and are capable of giving advice that is in the best interests of the child. Equally the parents have to feel confident that they are consenting to the best available care. If in their distress, the family seek to leave no stone unturned and look overseas to save their child’s life, they deserve our sympathy. But are the services for children with brain and spinal tumours in this country so deficient as to justify such quests?

This report provides more than a set of guidelines. The appendices include clinical cameos, which graphically illustrate the problems faced by children afflicted by these most dreaded of childhood cancers, and also the difficulties posed for their families. This is followed by a tabulation of the paediatric neuro-oncology centres nationwide, which are to deliver this service. While every family will still with to ensure the best chance for their child, this report offers the profession and families alike, well-reasoned and evidenced documentation that the best care is even now available in the United Kingdom but is to be bettere coordinated and calibrated year on year against the highest of international standards.”

Professor David Baum
President, Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health
Dr Terence Priestman
Dean, Faculty of Clinical Oncology, Royal College of Radiologists