Guidelines for Specialized Care for Pediatric Brain Tumor Patients

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American Brain Tumor Association and American Association of Neuroscience Nurses releases pediatric nursing clinical guidelines for brain tumor patients.

To meet the unique needs of pediatric brain tumor patients, the American Brain Tumor Association (ABTA) and the American Association of Neuroscience Nurses (AANN) created a clinical practice guideline (CPG) that specializes in the treatment of children with brain tumors.

An estimated 4,300 children will be diagnosed with a brain tumor this year. Brain tumors are the second most common cancer in children. The Care of the Pediatric Patient with a Brain Tumor Clinical Practice Guideline is a follow-up to the Care of the Adult Patient with a Brain Tumor released in May 2014.

The ABTA and AANN partnered to produce these guidelines to fill a critical gap in brain tumor patient care. While developing content for the adult guideline, it became clear that a dedicated piece for pediatric brain tumors was needed.

The goal of the clinical practice guideline is to help nurses provide consistent and evidence-based care for pediatric brain tumor patients and their families from diagnosis throughout the trajectory of the illness.

According to ABTA Chief Mission Officer, Deneen Hesser, MSHSA, RN, OCN, “The nursing care of a child with a brain tumor differs significantly from that of an adult because the disease presents and behaves differently. These guidelines focus on the special needs of children from diagnosis through long-term survivorship.”

Topics covered in the pediatric guideline include: epidemiology; anatomy and physiology; emergent care; diagnosis; such treatments as surgery, radiation, and chemotherapy; symptom management; and end of life care.

According to guidelines’ co-author and Pediatric Clinical Nurse Specialist, Cathy Cartwright, RN-BC, MSN, PCNS, “The Pediatric Brain Tumor Clinical Practice Guideline will provide Pediatric Nurses with a comprehensive and evidence-based reference for use when caring for a child with a brain tumor.”

Cartwright adds, “Not only does the guideline offer recommendations from diagnosis through long-term survival, it also offers important information to help the nurse care for the child's family as they accompany their child on this journey."

The full version of the pediatric guideline can be found at or

About the American Brain Tumor Association:

Founded in 1973, the American Brain Tumor Association was first and is now the only national organization committed to funding brain tumor research and providing support and education programs for all tumor types and all age groups. For more information, visit or call 800-866-ABTA (2282).

About the American Association of Neuroscience Nurses:

Founded in 1968, the American Association of Neuroscience Nurses (AANN), an organization of more than 4,500 members worldwide, is committed to working for the highest standard of care for neuroscience patients by advancing the science and practice of neuroscience nursing. AANN accomplishes this through continuing education, information dissemination, standard setting, and advocacy on behalf of neuroscience patients, families, and nurses. For more information, visit

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