Facing the diagnosis of a brain tumor can be challenging. It is normal to feel worried or overwhelmed.
At the Comprehensive Cancer Center, we understand. We put your needs and concerns first every step of the way - from diagnosis through treatment and survivorship. We combine compassionate, patient-centered care and the most sophisticated cancer-fighting tools in the world to offer our patients the best possible outcome.
Brain Tumor Diagnosis and Treatment
Brain tumors are clumps of tissue in your brain made up of cells that grow abnormally or uncontrollably. Brain tumors can either be:
- Benign, meaning non-cancerous, slow-growing, and can be removed
- Malignant, meaning cancerous, fast-growing, and likely to invade healthy brain tissue
We also identify brain tumors based on where they begin growing. Primary brain tumors begin growing in the brain itself. Metastatic brain tumors have spread to the brain from other parts of the body, like the lungs, breast, and skin.
While we don’t know exactly what causes brain tumors, we do know that they can influence your ability to think, feel, and move – and they can affect both adults and children.
Our specialists are your team - and your input is essential to every decision we make. Once we have a diagnosis, our team works with you and your family to develop the most effective treatment plan. Treatment may include brain surgery, chemotherapy, radiation and/or novel therapeutics.
We are also home to one of the most active Gamma Knife® programs in the country. In most cases, Gamma Knife is an outpatient procedure that delivers precise doses of radiation directly to the brain tumor while sparing healthy tissue.
Advanced Brain Tumor Treatment Options
Optune™ - is a novel treatment option for adult patients with glioblastoma. It is a portable medical device that produces alternating electric fields or Tumor Treating Fields (TTFields) that can slow or stop cancer cells from dividing.
Optune may offer benefit in patients with newly diagnosed tumors, and is as effective as chemotherapy with fewer side effects and a better quality of life in select patients with recurrent disease.
Visualase® and NeuroBlate System - A minimally invasive procedure, Visualase provides precise, advanced MRI-guided laser ablation technology to destroy brain lesions. As laser energy is delivered to the target area through the NeuroBlate high-intensity laser light, temperatures in the target lesion begin to rise, destroying the unwanted tissue while limiting injury to healthy tissue.
Precision Medicine Program - Patients who are not responding to treatment may be candidates for our Precision Medicine program, which uses the DNA of the patient’s tumor to identify the most promising treatment options, including the use of medications not typically used for brain tumors.
Your Brain Tumor Treatment Team
We believe in a team approach. As the region’s only multidisciplinary brain tumor clinic, specialists from neurosurgery, radiation oncology, medical oncology and neurology come together to discuss the most effective ways to manage and treat each patient’s brain tumor. Patients from around the region and around the world choose us for their care because of our approach.
And, we are the only NCI-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center in the Triad and western North Carolina, which means patients have access to the latest treatments and clinical trials.
As you and your family navigate through the treatment process, we continue to offer a broad range of support through patient and family support services.
Pediatric Brain Tumor Program
The Pediatric Brain Tumor Program at Brenner Children’s Hospital is the region’s only dedicated pediatric brain tumor program, and is led by a team of pediatric neuro-oncologists, pediatric neurosurgeons, radiation oncologists, pediatric neuropsychologists and neuro-oncology research experts. An important feature of the program is that children and teens with central nervous system tumors can see all of their doctors in one location. The program is committed to excellence in child- and family-centered care, cutting-edge research, and high quality education in order for patients to achieve the best possible outcomes.