Treatment OptionsPatients at the Northwestern Brian Tumor Institute receive care from a multidisciplinary team of experts who meet weekly, sharing their knowledge and experience to develop the optimum treatment plan.
Many factors, including the type, size, and location of a tumor, are considered to determine the most effective strategy, which sometimes involves a combination of treatments.
Our goal is to provide each patient undergoing treatment with the best possible quality of life, in addition to the best possible care.
Learn more about the following types of treatments:
The NBTI's surgical team performs an average of 500 major brain tumor operations per year. They treat patients with both benign and malignant tumors of the brain, and have special expertise in cranial base surgery, transsphenoidal surgery, functional and stereotactic surgery, and cerebrovascular surgery.
Our surgeons utilize state-of-the-art equipment including:
- A variety of intraoperative microscopes
- A frameless stereotactic unit for intraoperative tumor localization
- Intraoperative cortical mapping
- BRW, CRW, and Leksell frame-driven stereotactic systems for stereotactic-guided biopsies and tumor localization
- The surgical endoscope for intraventricular and pituitary tumors
- A variety of intraoperative lasers, and the cavitronic ultrasonic aspirator for tumor resection
- Brain and spinal cord electrical monitoring to prevent damage to normal tissue
The frame-based and frameless stereotactic equipment allows tumor biopsies and resections to be performed utilizing smaller, more precise scalp and bone openings than conventional surgery. Functional MRI is routinely utilized in the preoperative planning of surgery to identify eloquent areas of brain which should be preserved during an operative procedure.
In recent years, many novel and effective therapies have been developed for treating brain cancer. As a national leader in the treatment of brain tumors, our patients benefit from the newest and best treatment options and resources available. You may be eligible for one of the ongoing clinical trials being conducted by the NBTI to test newer therapies.
Depending on the type of brain tumor and the treatment plan designed, you may receive treatment with chemotherapy and/or biologic agents. These treatments may be administered in a number of ways, including:
- Stem-cell transplant for certain tumors
- Small molecule therapies
- Growth modifier treatment
- Intra-tumoral treatments
Our radiation oncologists are leading experts in treating brain tumors with radiation therapy. They specialize in delivering radiation to the brain and have pioneered many important technological advances in the field.
Patients receiving radiation therapy may benefit from:
- Standard external beam radiation therapy (EBRT)
- Intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT)
- The Gamma Knife (radiosurgery)
- Proton Beam Radiation