Brain and Spine Tumor Center
St. Luke's Brain & Spine Tumor Center
L to R: Dr. Nimisha Deb, Radiation
Oncologist, Dr. Hugh Moulding, Medical
Director, and Dr. Neil Belman, Medical
St. Luke's provides the region's only integrated, multidisciplinary center that specializes in treating primary and metastatic tumors of the brain and spine. Patients benefit from innovative surgical and radiation oncology treatment approaches and access to the latest clinical trials and investigational therapies.
Patient-centered appointments at the Brain & Spine Tumor Center offer one-stop visits with multiple specialists, where a treatment plan is developed together with the patient and all involved specialties.
A dedicated nurse navigator provides constant patient follow-up, coordinating and scheduling all appointments; helping manage transportation concerns; evaluating participation in clinical trials; serving as a liaison to support services; ensuring patients receive all required tests; handling insurance precertification; and providing a detailed summary to referring doctors.
About St. Luke's Brain & Spine Tumor Center Team
- Dr. Hugh Moulding completed his fellowship in neurosurgical oncology at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center.
- Radiation oncologist Dr. Nimisha Deb and medical oncologist Dr. Neil Belman specialize in treating tumors of the brain and spine.
- Dedicated neuroradiologists evaluate all imaging.
- This expert multidisciplinary team meets weekly to ensure the most appropriate, effective and timely treatments are given.
What is it?
These tumors are abnormal growths that are found either inside the skull or the spinal column. They can be benign (noncancerous) or malignant (cancerous) tumors that can spread disease to other parts of the body.
The brain and spinal column are the primary components of the Central Nervous System (CNS). A tumor in these areas can place pressure on other sensitive tissues or structures and impair function.
There are several different types of brain and spinal cord tumors. They include:
- Glioblastoma Multiforme (GBM) is a malignant tumor that accounts for about 60 percent of all primary brain tumors in adults over the age of 50.
- Meningiomas are usually benign tumors that arise from the meninges which are membranes that surround the brain and spinal cord. Typically, these tumors are slow growing.
- Acoustic Neuromas are benign tumors of the eighth cranial nerve that can affect hearing, balance and head position.
- Pituitary Adenomas are usually benign tumors that are located next to or within the pituitary gland.
Cranial extensions of head and neck cancers (originating from cancers of the salivary glands, oral cavity, larynx, pharynx, sinuses and other locations)
- Metastatic tumors can occur when there is spread of disease to the brain or spine from a primary cancer, such as lung cancer, breast cancer or melanoma.
Causes, Symptoms & Risk Factors
Individuals who have a brain tumor may experience:
- Nausea and vomiting
- Vision problems
- Hearing problems
- Behavioral and cognitive issues
- Difficulty with motor skills
- Balance problems
Spinal cord tumor symptoms include:
- Sensory changes
- Difficulty with motor skills
Tests, Procedures and Treatments
A neurological exam will be performed to diagnose a tumor of the brain or spinal column. Additional tests that may be used to confirm the diagnosis include:
- Medications to treat swelling/dysfunction of the CNS
- Surgical resection using intraoperative Neuromonitoring (IOM) to assure maximum safety, and applying minimally invasive techniques such as neuronavigation and neuroendoscopy
- Radiation therapy using RapidArc® technology or stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS)
- Chemotherapies including access to novel clinical trials and investigational therapies