Fighting Brain and Spine Tumors
According to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, there are more than 120 types of brain and spinal cord tumors, and more than 195,000 people in the United States are diagnosed with a brain tumor each year. Neurosurgery, radiation therapy, radiosurgery, and chemotherapy are among the most widely used treatment options for patients with brain cancer.
Physicians at the St. Mary Neurosciences Center personalize each patient’s treatment plan based on the type, stage, and size of the tumor, as well as his or her ability to tolerate certain medications or surgery. With all brain and spine cancers, the goal of treatment is to preserve healthy tissue while destroying tumors at their point of origin. In some cases, treatment also may target cancer cells that may have spread to other areas of the body.
For patients diagnosed with a brain tumor, St. Mary is among the first in the region to offer Frameless Stereotactic Radiosurgery (SRS) as a breakthrough treatment to fight cancer. The goal of SRS is to destroy the target tumor without open surgery and without harming nearby healthy tissue. SRS uses focused high-energy radiation beams to destroy tumors. Traditional methods for delivering SRS required an invasive frame that was screwed into the patient’s skull bone. Today, new technology known as Image-Guided Radiation Therapy (IGRT) has been introduced to allow for the more comfortable Frameless SRS.
Neuro-Oncology Tumor Conferences
On a regular basis, a team of neurosciences and oncology specialists at St. Mary Medical Center come together to participate in multidisciplinary conferences, where a patient’s case is evaluated from every angle. The team arrives at the single best plan for that patient, enabling the right treatment to begin sooner.
Oncology Clinical Research
As part of our commitment to provide patients with the latest developments in treatment, St. Mary Medical Center participates in clinical trials of new therapeutic agents for spine and brain tumors.
At the St. Mary Neurosciences Center, radiation oncology is a crucial component of the care we provide to patients who are diagnosed with tumors in the brain or spine, brain malformations, or nervous system disorders. Our collaborative approach between neurosurgeons and radiation oncologists offers effective treatment options.
The disorders we confront on a daily basis pose complex challenges that we meet with equally complex, non-invasive technology. When it comes to evaluating, diagnosing, and treating neurological conditions, St. Mary Medical Center proudly offers the latest advances in:
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
- Positron emission tomography and multi-slice CT scanning (PET/CT)
- 3D CT scanning for treatment planning and treatment techniques
- Intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT)
- Frameless Stereotactic Radiosurgery (SRS)
- HI-ART TomoTherapy — a technology that combines IGRT with real-time CT scanning