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The Pediatric Neurointerventional Radiology team at Children's National Hospital is engaged in research that seeks to improve outcomes for children now and into the future. 

Our current research efforts include:

  • Exploring better drug delivery to the brain. Our goal is to improve outcomes for children with incurable, poorly responsive brain tumors like Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma (DIPG). We're researching predictable and reproducible methods for opening the blood-brain barrier either through focused ultrasound or mannitol-induced blood brain barrier opening. Monica Pearl, M.D., is the Principal Investigator leading this research study, funded by the National Institutes of Health. 
  • Challenging the status quo for treatment of intractable seizures due to hemimegalencephaly. Newborn babies with intractable seizures have limited treatment options beyond antiseizure medication if they are under three months of age. We've shown that stopping blood flow to the part of the abnormally developed brain through staged trans-arterial embolization is a highly effective alternative treatment option for carefully selected newborns during a time in which surgery is not an option because of age. We've seen success with this method in patients like Bella, who recently celebrated two years seizure-free after she received the innovative treatment.
  • Treating a rare eye cancer with intra-arterial chemotherapy. Retinoblastoma, or cancer of the retina in the eye, can be treated by releasing smaller, more concentrated doses of chemotherapy into the ophthalmic artery – the primary blood supply at the back of the eye. This intra-arterial chemotherapy method provides an innovative solution for retinoblastoma and is without the side effects associated with systemic chemotherapy.


Bella's story