Treatment Innovations

Youngest-ever endoscopic endonasal surgery performed at Stanford

Virtual reality and 3-D printing prepares surgeons for complex procedures

A multidisciplinary team led by Juan Fernandez-Miranda, MD, performed the youngest-ever surgery using an endoscopic endonasal approach for a craniopharyngioma. This was a uniquely challenging case of a giant craniopharyngioma in a 2-year old child. While the endonasal endoscopic approach is the best approach for most craniopharyngiomas, it had never been done in a child this young. In fact, it was thought to be impossible because of the absence of pneumatization of the sphenoid sinus and the small size of the nasal cavity. 

However, the combination of deep expertise, life commitment to excellence in endoscopic skull base surgery, team work, and technological developments, we were able to successfully removed this giant tumor with an excellent outcome. 

We strive to continue providing the best possible for patients with craniopharyngiomas at Stanford Medicine.

From loss comes hope: pediatric brain tumor treatment shows promise

Jace Ward participated in a groundbreaking clinical trial for his deadly brain stem tumor. After his diagnosis, Ward became a strong advocate for kids with diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma.

When Jace Ward came to Lucile Packard Children's Hospital Stanford in September 2020 to join a clinical trial for a novel therapy, he had been fighting a deadly brainstem tumor for more than a year. His diagnosis was diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma, or DIPG, which conventional cancer treatments can't cure. The disease has a five-year survival rate of less than one percent.

A group of Stanford scientists who have spent the past decade unlocking the glioma's secrets are publishing data in Nature from the trial Ward joined. He was one of the first four patients with diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma or a closely related cancer affecting the spinal cord to receive immune cells engineered to fight the disease.

Though all the trial patients died of their disease or its complications, three of them experienced significant clinical benefits from the engineered cells.