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Tumors of the Brain, Skull and Spinal Cord
Loyola treats malignant and benign tumors of the skull, brain and spinal cord through a team approach that includes neurosurgeons, otolaryngologists, neuro-oncologists, radiation oncologists, medical oncologists and neuroradiologists. Surgeons use the latest technologies in the operating room, which enable them to remove tumors while preserving the patient’s function and quality of life. Loyola was among the first centers to use computerized surgical navigation systems and has gained more than a decade of experience with these technologies. The team can offer patients innovative approaches to the medical management of brain tumors, including participation in clinical trials and national cooperative studies.
Patients with brain, nervous system and head and neck cancers can benefit from the consultation of several specialists in a convenient, multidisciplinary clinic held in Loyola’s Cardinal Bernardin Cancer Center. Meanwhile in the Neuro-Oncology Laboratory, scientists are studying how tumors grow in order to develop new treatments. One major avenue of research is investigation of the role of calcium ions in the life cycle of brain tumor cells. This research may shed light on the potential use of calcium-blocking drugs to eradicate tumors.
Loyola’s renowned Center for Cranial Base Surgery treats patients with tumors at the undersurface of the brain. It is an area that borders on the brain, ears, eyes, nose, throat and neck. Neurological surgeons, otolaryngologists and other specialists each bring their unique expertise to treat these tumors, which often surround the nerves and blood vessels traveling to or from the underside of the brain. The center has developed innovative methods for removing difficult-to-reach tumors that may otherwise have been inoperable.
Stereotactic Radiation Oncology Program
Loyola’s neurosurgeons collaborate with radiation oncologists on a leading-edge stereotactic radiation oncology program. Stereotactic radiation is effective in treating small tumors of the head and brain when conventional surgery or standard radiation therapy may pose too great a risk to the patient. The procedure delivers a single dose of radiation that is precisely matched to the 3D shape of the tumor, while protecting nearby brain structures. Loyola is one of the few centers in the country to acquire a new shaped-beam stereotactic radiotherapy system, which targets tumors and other lesions with submillimeter accuracy.