Pediatric Neuro-Oncology Fellowship

Program goals

Our aim is to provide robust training to physicians who would like a career caring for pediatric and young adult patients with CNS tumors and patients with predisposition syndromes such as neurofibromatosis types 1 and 2.

We very much aim to tailor the education provided to the needs of the trainee to be a successful independent pediatric neuro-oncologist. In addition to time on our inpatient neuro-oncology clinical service and treating a primary cohort of neuro-oncology patients followed in the outpatient clinic, we provide time for a research project with the goal of publication. Again, our intention is to not only strengthen the fellow’s clinical skill set but help form a foundation for building a career in the field.

Training is designed to accomplish the following goals:

  • Train pediatric neuro-oncologists as master clinicians to deliver effective and comprehensive medical care to pediatric patients with both benign and malignant CNS tumors
  • Train pediatric neuro-oncologists to become experts in:
    • The epidemiology, pathophysiology and natural history of pediatric CNS tumors
    • Performance and interpretation of diagnostics including physical exam, laboratory evaluation, imaging modalities, performing lumbar punctures and delivering systemic and intrathecal chemotherapy
    • Evaluation and management of pediatric patients with newly diagnosed CNS tumors
    • Evaluation and management of patients with neurofibromatosis types 1 and 2 and related tumors
    • Evaluation and management of patients with retinoblastoma
    • Leading patient/family meetings to discuss diagnosis/prognosis, complications, relapse and end-of-life care
    • Pre- and post-operative care of neurosurgical patients
    • Assessing and evaluating molecular profiling and genetic mutation analysis of tumors and applying the information to guide therapy choices
    • Enrolling and managing patients in clinical drug trials
    • Critical evaluation of the neuro-oncology literature
    • Psychosocial aspects of neuro-oncology patient care
    • Providing second opinions and evaluating patients with complex medical histories
  • Prepare pediatric neuro-oncologists to effectively collaborate with other members of the care team, referring physicians, primary care physicians and other providers within the national pediatric neuro-oncology community

Our Neuro-oncology team

We have a robust neuro-oncology team that includes:

  • 9 attending physicians
  • 3 neuropsychologists
  • 4 inpatient nurse practitioners
  • 2 outpatient nurse practitioners
  • 3 nurse navigators (neuro-oncology, neurofibromatosis, retinoblastoma)
  • 2 clinical trial research nurses
  • 3 clinical research associates
  • 4 social workers (neuro-oncology, neurofibromatosis, retinoblastoma)

Curriculum overview

The curriculum is comprised of a variety of clinical and research experiences and tailored to each trainee’s career goals.

  • Inpatient service: manage care for neuro-oncology patients and perform consults
    • Will be supervised by one of our neuro-oncology attendings
    • Averages 10 to 20 patients at time (includes patients in the ICU and rehabilitation units
    • Oversees the general oncology fellows and residents’ rotation through the neuro-oncology service
  • Outpatient service: build a panel of newly diagnosed neuro-oncology patients via:
    • New patients while on service
    • New patients referred to outpatient clinic
    • Second opinion referrals to CHOP
    • One half-day of clinic per week

Additional rotations to enrich the academic training will include service time with adjunct teams depending on the trainees prior training.

  • For trainees who have completed a pediatric hematology/oncology fellowship:
    • Neurology (4 weeks: includes general neurology consult service, stroke/ICU consult service, outpatient subspecialties)
    • Neuro-radiology (4 weeks)
    • Pediatric radiation-oncology (1 week)
    • Neuro-ophthalmology (1 week)
    • Neuro-pathology (1 week)
  • For trainees who have completed a pediatric neurology residency:
    • Leukemia/lymphoma service
    • Solid tumor service
    • Stem cell transplantation / immunotherapy service
    • Pediatric radiation-oncology
    • Chemotherapy and other oncology-specific education
  • Rotations that are possible based interest and availability include:
    • Adult neuro-oncology
    • Pediatric neurosurgery
    • Palliative care
    • Others
  • Research (up to 16 to 20 weeks)

Fellows attend and participate in didactic and conference experiences, including a weekly multidisciplinary brain tumor conference, the oncology precision medicine tumor board, M&M discussions, weekly general oncology tumor board, weekly Center for Childhood Cancer Research conference, a monthly Brain Tumor Clinical Research meeting and others.

There are a variety of multi-disciplinary conferences with other teams attended on an ad hoc basis (neuro-radiology, neuro-pathology, the monthly cancer predisposition conference and others). In addition, fellows can accompany faculty to conferences (such as SNO or SNO-Pediatrics, ISPNO, CTF, COG).

Prior fellows

2021-22
Stephanie Brosius, MD, PhD
Pediatric Neurology Residency: Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia

2019-20
Kavita Desai, MD
Pediatric Hematology / Oncology Fellowship
Pediatric Residency

2018-19
Chelsea Kotch, MD
Pediatric Residency: Johns Hopkins

2017-18
Audrey Green-Murphy, DO
Pediatric Hematology / Oncology Fellowship: Arkansas Children’s Hospital
Pediatric Residency: Memorial Health University Medical Center, Savannah, Ga.

How to apply

Applicants for the Pediatric Neuro-Oncology Fellowship must have completed either a pediatric oncology fellowship or neurology residency training in the United States or Canada before entering the program. Candidates from outside the United States or Canada require equivalent training.

Prospective fellows are encouraged to contact us with any questions regarding the program or application process. We request prospective fellows to send a curriculum vitae, their personal statement and three letters of recommendation.

Contact us

Pediatric Neuro-oncology Fellowship Program Coordinator
Susan Kuneck
kunecks@chop.edu

Pediatric Neuro-oncology Fellowship Program Director
Amish C. Shah, MD, PhD
shahac@chop.edu

Pediatric Neuro-oncology Program Chief
Michael Fisher, MD
fisherm@chop.edu