Brain & Spine Tumors
St. Luke’s Brain & Spine Tumor Center provides the highest level of individualized patient-centered care to aggressively treat primary and metastatic tumors of the brain and spine. The Center gives the patient an opportunity to meet a multidisciplinary team of doctors from neurosurgery, radiation therapy and medical oncology at one time and one location.
By bringing together physician expertise in these highly specialized areas, St. Luke’s offers patients a cohesive, comprehensive, personalized treatment plan tailored to the each patient's diagnoses and unique needs without the need for the patient to travel to multiple locations and physicians. Patients benefit from innovative surgical, medical and radiation oncology treatment approaches and access to the latest clinical trials and investigational therapies.
A nurse navigator also is present to implement treatment plans and coordinate studies among the various departments. Her work continues between clinics to keep patients on track with treatment plans.
- 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.
Types of brain and spinal cord tumors:
- 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.
Symptoms of bladder cancer can include:
- Blood in the urine
- Painful urination
- Frequent urination
- Feeling the urge to urinate but not being able to pass urine
- Frequent urinary tract infections
- Lower back pain on one side of the body
- Unexplained appetite loss and weight loss
- A pelvic mass
At St. Luke’s Brain & Spine Tumor Center, patients benefit from the combined experience of a multidisciplinary group of physicians who are experts in the field. Together, they can provide sophisticated diagnostic tools as well as innovative surgical, medical and radiation oncology treatment approaches.
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:
- Computed tomography (CT)
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
- Electroencephalogram (EEG)
- Lumbar puncture (spinal tap)
- Tumor biopsy
- RapidArc® Radiotherapy, an extremely fast, highly precise technology capable of treating more difficult tumors with intensity modulated radiotherapy (IMRT)
- Stereotactic Radiosurgery (SRS) for brain tumors
- First in the region to offer Frameless SRS for brain tumors. The frameless system uses surface mapping to track a patient’s facial features during treatment, allowing SRS to be performed without using traditional frame-based immobilization devices. This provides a more comfortable and faster treatment and recovery experience.
- Medications to treat swelling/dysfunction of the Central Nervous System (CNS)
- Surgical resection using intraoperative Neuromonitoring (IOM) to assure maximum safety, and applying minimally-invasive techniques such as neuronavigation and neuroendoscopy
- Chemotherapies including access to novel clinical trials and investigational therapies
- St. Luke’s is first in Pennsylvania to offer GammaTile Therapy, a surgically targeted radiation therapy for operable brain tumors. GammaTile is a biocompatible, permanent collagen tile implant that delivers radiation therapy to the area where the brain tumor was removed. After the neurosurgeon has safely removed as much of the tumor as possible, GammaTiles are placed in the operative bed, covering the tumor cavity. Once placed, the GammaTiles immediately begin delivering a uniform dose of radiation to the targeted area. GammaTile can eliminate the need for traditional repeat radiation treatments. Click here to watch the GammaTile video.
For additional information on programs, services and locations, download and print the following PDFs:
Patient Angie Thomas is amazed by St. Luke’s breakthrough laser-oblation procedure used to treat her brain tumor.