Brain Tumor Treatment


Treatment for a brain tumor depends on the type, size and location of the tumor. Your physician will also consider your age and overall health when developing your personalized treatment plan. Because the specific tumor type heavily determines a treatment plan, surgery is commonly recommended as the first line of treatment so that a tumor type and diagnosis can be confirmed. 

Although the preliminary surgical pathology result may be available within a few days, the final diagnosis may require additional testing that can take 2-3 weeks. In most cases, the final pathology result and a detailed plan of care are discussed during outpatient office visits with your oncologist team.

The Ivy Brain Tumor Center at Barrow Neurological Institute utilizes all avenues of treatment and explores new experimental therapies through innovative clinical trials. We aim to explore every possible treatment strategy to improve patient care and quality of life.

Surgical procedure being performed


Neurosurgeons at Barrow Neurological Institute perform more brain tumor operations annually than any other medical center in the United States. They specialize in the most innovative surgical procedures for managing brain tumors and consistently choose the least invasive procedure that delivers the best possible outcome to the patient.

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Cancer patient with her doctor


Neuro-oncologists within the Ivy Brain Tumor Center at Barrow Neurological Institute are well-versed in treating brain tumors and cancer-related neurological disorders. We take a personalized approach and provide unparalleled patient care. All avenues of treatment are considered and no stone is left unturned in pursuing the best treatment options for the patient.

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MRI machine

Radiation Oncology

The Department of Radiation Oncology at Barrow Neurological Institute uses state-of-the-art technology and therapies for brain tumor patients. Experienced radiation oncologists personalize radiation therapy plans based on each patient’s specific tumor type and individual requirements.

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Brain tumor imaging


Imaging plays a pivotal role in the effective management and care of patients dealing with brain tumors. The team of expert neuroradiologists at Barrow collaborates closely with neuro-oncologists and neurosurgeons to help diagnose, plan and monitor patients’ brain tumors, using high-resolution imaging methods. Imaging tests are noninvasive and generally painless.

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Clinical trial doctor working in the lab

Clinical Trials

Scientists at the Ivy Brain Tumor Center are continuously looking for new drugs, devices or techniques to treat brain tumors and help patients live longer, healthier lives. Clinical trials offer patients access to cutting-edge treatments that may not be widely available, giving them hope and the potential for a better outcome. Patients can volunteer to participate in a clinical trial testing a new therapy specifically matched to their brain tumor type. Researchers evaluate the effectiveness and safety of the treatment to determine if others would benefit as well.

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tumor rendering

Brain Metastasis Treatment

Brain metastases are the most common type of intracranial tumor. An estimated 98,000 to 170,000 cases occur annually in the United States. The incidence of brain metastases is increasing, likely as a result of several factors. Patients with a systemic metastatic disease have a more prolonged survival with new systemic therapies (including immunotherapy) that have recently seen more widespread use. The growing use of sensitive MRI techniques has contributed to better detection of small asymptomatic brain metastases. This provides new and challenging approaches for treatment and management for this group of patients, and it requires appropriate management strategies from multidisciplinary teams.

Traditionally, brain metastases were treated and managed by the primary oncologist who treated the patient’s original cancer. For example, a breast cancer oncologist would provide medical treatment for a breast cancer patient who developed brain metastasis. Historically, this approach presented challenges, as brain disease shows different molecular profiling and management has many challenges critical to understanding optimal treatment.

Patients with brain metastasis have unique and complex needs requiring input from several specialties, including treatment for the primary disease, focused treatment for brain disease and neurologic complications of the central nervous system involvement. The Brain Metastasis Clinic is a model for coordinated care within the Barrow Oncology Program. The goal is to improve the care of patients with secondary brain tumors using a multidisciplinary approach with neurosurgical and radiation therapy evaluation and systemic treatment, including immunotherapy and other novel treatments.

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Multidis­ciplinary Tumor Board

The Barrow Tumor Board meets once a week to evaluate individual cases. It provides a means for patients to benefit from the opinions and advice of expert doctors from different specialties who attend each week—doctors from your treatment team (neurosurgery, neuro-oncology, radiation oncology) and other experts, such as a neuropathologist (a doctor who examines the tumor under a microscope and makes the diagnosis) and a neuroradiologist (a doctor who reads the diagnostic scans).

Patient cases may be presented for a review of the tumor diagnosis or for discussion of the best treatment for the patient. Patient cases are typically presented after a new diagnosis but also when they are at a critical point where input from other experts would be helpful.


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