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AT/RT - Atypical Teratoid Rhabdoid Tumor

  • Dana-Farber / Children's Hospital Cancer Center logo

    An atypical teratoid rhabdoid tumor, often called AT/RT, is a very rare and fast-growing tumor of the central nervous system. Learn about AT/RT and find information on how we support and care for children with this rare cancer before, during, and after treatment.

The Brain Tumor Center at Dana-Farber/Boston Children's Cancer and Blood Disorders Center cares for children with many different types of common and rare brain and spinal tumors, including astrocytomas, medulloblastomas, ependymoma, glioblastomas, and primitive neuroectodermal tumors (PNET).

Your child will receive care from some of the world’s most experienced pediatric brain tumor doctors and internationally recognized pediatric subspecialists.

Our team works closely together to develop a care plan that offers your child the highest possible quality of life after treatment, and takes the needs of your child and your family into account.

Children treated at the Brain Tumor Center have access to some of the most advanced diagnostics and therapies, including:

  • Quick and accurate diagnosis from our dedicated pediatric neuropathologist
  • Access to advanced technologies like the intraoperative MRI, which allows our neurosurgeons to see detailed images of the brain during surgery
  • Advanced pediatric radiation oncology services, including targeted radiosurgery and low-dose radiation therapy that minimize exposure to radiation
  • Outpatient and oral chemotherapy, which may minimize the number of times your child will need to visit the hospital
  • Innovative therapies offered through clinical trials at Dana-Farber, Boston Children's Hospital, and nationally
  • Specialized programs for the treatment of low- and high-grade gliomas, and medulloblastoma

Thanks to refined surgical techniques and improved chemotherapy and radiation therapy, the majority of children with brain and spinal cord tumors are now long-term survivors. However, they may face physical, social, and intellectual challenges that require specialized care.

Learn more about our Brain Tumor Center.

Childhood AT/RT - Atypical Teratoid Rhabdoid Tumor

Atypical teratoid rhabdoid tumors (AT/RT) are very rare, aggressive tumors of the central nervous system, occurring mostly in the cerebellum (the part of the brain that controls movement and balance) or the brain stem (the part of the brain that controls basic body functions).

  • AT/RTs usually occur by age 3, but sometimes are found in older children. AT/RTs represent only 1 to 2 percent of childhood brain tumors.
  • These tumors are part of a larger group of malignant tumors called rhabdoid tumors, which also can occur outside the brain.
  • AT/RTs may be localized to one part of the brain, or they can spread to other locations in the brain, spine or body.

AT/RT treatment at Dana-Farber/Boston Children's

Children with AT/RTs are treated at Dana-Farber/Boston Children's through our Brain Tumor Center, a world leader in treating this rare disease. Our brain tumor specialists have extensive expertise in treating all types of neural tumors, including AT/RT.

Learn more

Find in-depth information on atypical teratoid rhabdoid tumor (AT/RT) on the Dana-Farber/Boston Children’s website, including AT/RT causes, diagnosis, treatment and latest research.

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  • Make an Appointment

    • For adults:
      877-442-3324 (877-442-DFCI)

    • Quick access:
      Appointments as soon as the next day for new adult patients


    • For children:
      888-733-4662 (888-PEDI-ONC)

    • Make Appointment Online
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  • Ranked #1 for Children

    • U.S. News and World Report Best Children's Hospital Cancer logo Dana-Farber/
      Boston Children's is ranked the #1 pediatric cancer hospital by the U.S. News & World Report 2016-17 Best Children's Hospitals guide.
  • AT/RT: A Parent's Reflections

    • Timothy Rourke with his son DeclanIn this blog post, Timothy Rourke reflects on his son Declan's
      life-saving treatment at Dana-Farber/Children's Hospital Cancer Center.