Leading cancer experts committed to improved patient outcomes
At Maimonides Cancer Center, successful treatment for brain and spinal tumors begins with a multidisciplinary team of dedicated experts who work together to develop and discuss the treatment plan that is best for you. We have the best neurosurgeons, neurologists, oncologists, and critical care nurses in the field, known for their expertise and compassion. They will guide you through every step of a treatment plan that meets your individual needs, and work as a team to provide the highest quality of care.
There are 2 types of brain and spinal tumors:
- Primary – A tumor that starts in the brain or spine. It can be benign (noncancerous) or malignant (cancerous), and rarely spreads to other organs
- Metastatic – A malignant tumor caused by cancer elsewhere in the body that has spread to the brain or spine
Spinal tumors rarely are primary tumors. Most have metastasized from cancers in the breast, lung, colon, prostate, kidney, or elsewhere.
Leading-edge technology for diagnosing brain and spinal tumors
Diagnosis starts with a physical examination, then a neurologic examination to evaluate brain and spinal cord function. Using the most advanced technology available, including magnetic resonance imaging and computed tomography, our highly skilled imaging specialists can detect the smallest tumor and pinpoint its exact location. When a tumor is present, a surgical biopsy and/or spinal tap is performed to remove a tissue sample for analysis.
Treating brain and spinal tumors
Tumor type determines which of our innovative treatments will be most effective:
- Chemotherapy – Uses powerful medications to kill dividing cancer cells and prevent them from growing. It is often used in conjunction with surgery and radiation
- Radiation therapy, or radiotherapy – Uses radiation to kill tumors, control their growth, or relieve symptoms. Our image-guided technology pinpoints a tumor’s exact size and location, allowing our radiation oncologists to target it precisely and spare healthy tissue. At Maimonides we offer:
- External beam radiation therapy – Daily outpatient treatments for several weeks
- Internal radiation therapy (brachytherapy) – Radioactive seeds placed in or near a tumor
- Surgery – Is used for most primary brain tumors. Our surgical techniques include a surgical navigation system for intraoperative guidance and minimally invasive surgical approaches that reduce scars, pain, and hospital stays