Neuro-oncology Treatment Program

The Neuro-oncology Treatment Program at the Hyundai Cancer Institute at CHOC is a team of highly dedicated and well-trained medical specialists. The team’s mission is to provide the most advanced and effective treatments for pediatric tumors of the brain and spine while offering family-centered care that focuses on the needs of the patient and family as a whole.

Right from the start, the Neuro-oncology Treatment Program team works closely with patients and their families to ensure they understand each stage of the treatment process. Treatment plans are discussed and coordinated at routine neuroscience tumor board meetings. These meetings are coordinated among all the neurosurgeons, radiation oncologists, oncologists, neuropathologists and other medical staff. While carefully planning a patient’s treatment, the team use all resources available to minimize any possible side effects from the tumor and associated treatments, and regularly monitors patients for possible side effects. Patients undergo regular assessments to track their cancer’s response to therapy throughout the course of treatment. Once treatment is complete, the neuro-oncology team follows up with patients for several years, and the team’s neuropsychologist works with patients and their families to facilitate the transition back to school and regular day-to-day activities.

To make the treatment process a little less confusing and easier to navigate, the team has assembled a helpful education packet that our patients and their families find very helpful throughout treatment and recovery.

Download our Neuro-oncology Education Packet

What We Treat

patient listening to doctor's heartbeat

The neuro-oncology team treats all pediatric tumors of the brain and spine including, but not limited to:

  • Astrocytoma
  • Atypical Teratoid/Rhabdoid Tumor (ATRT)
  • Brain Stem Glioma
  • Brain Tumors
  • Choroid Plexus Tumors
  • CNS Lymphoma (Primary Malignant Lymphoma)
  • Craniopharyngioma
  • Ependymoma
  • Ganglioglioma
  • Germ Cell Tumor
  • Glioblastoma Multiforme (GBM)
  • Medulloblastoma (MDL)
  • Mixed Glioma
  • Oligodendroglioma
  • Optic Nerve Glioma
  • Primitive Neuroectodermal Tumor (PNT)

Clinical Trials and Research

The experts at the Hyundai Cancer Institute at CHOC are dedicated to providing the very latest treatments and in engaging in the research furthering the advance of treatment both now and in the future. Children’s cancers are very different than adult cancers and must be treated with specific pediatric cancer protocols. Our experience in exclusively treating children, teens and young adults makes us the experts in the evaluation and treatment of all forms of common childhood and adolescent cancers. We are dedicated to administering the very latest pediatric cancer treatment options. A majority of our protocols come from the Children’s Oncology Group (COG), a national organization funded by the National Cancer Institute (NCI). Our relationship with the COG makes us the only medical center in the southwestern United States offering COG Phase I clinical trials. Learn more about our ongoing research and the clinical trials available at the Cancer Institute.

A Multidisciplinary Approach

The multidisciplinary Neuro-oncology Treatment Program at the Hyundai Cancer Institute at CHOC is one of a handful of such teams in the region. Our unique approach allows us to offer our patients virtually all the services they need under one roof—including access to our nurse practitioner, case coordinator, neuropsychologist, pediatric oncologist, neurosurgeons, neuroradiologists, radiation oncologists, social workers, dietitian and speech, occupational and physical therapists. This team approach allows our specialists to easily communicate with one another about patient needs and thus provide patients with a well-rounded treatment plan.

Meet the Neuro-oncology Team

Abongwa, Chenue MD

Specialty: Oncology
Office: 714-509-8636

Dr. Chenue Abongwa is a board certified pediatric oncologist at CHOC Hospital in Orange.

Crawford, John R.

Specialty: Neurology
Appointments: 888-770-2462
Office: 714-509-7601

Dr. John R. Crawford is board certified in child neurology and treats kids and teens in Orange County.

Magge, Suresh MD

Specialty: Neurosurgery
Office: 714-509-7070

Dr. Suresh Magge is board certified in neurosurgery who treats kids and teens in Orange County.

Pathare, Jody NP

Specialty: Oncology

Jody Pathare is a nurse practitioner who specializes in oncology medicine. She provides care for kids and teens with cancer at CHOC.

Sato, Mariko MD

Specialty: Oncology
Office: 714-509-8636

Dr. Sato is a board certified pediatric oncologist at CHOC Hospital in Orange County.