A patient’s brain or spinal cancer treatment plan may incorporate several different therapies depending on the type of cancer, as well as the size and the grade of the tumor. Additionally, the treatment plan will also take into account a patient’s age, general health and prior medical history.
In most cases, brain and spinal cancer treatment has several goals:
- To remove as much of a tumor as possible through a "maximimal safe resection" (neurosurgery)
- To kill cancerous cells or prevent the tumor from growing larger with use of radiation therapy, chemotherapy and other biological therapy options
- To improve a patient’s prognosis, reduce symptoms and improve quality of life, through a combination of treatments and supportive care
At Moffitt Cancer Center, we create and utilize some of the most advanced treatments to help us achieve these goals for all brain and spinal tumor types. Our Neuro-Oncology Program takes a comprehensive approach to precision medicine. Depending on a patient’s specific needs, we may recommend:
- Neurosurgery, performed by skilled neurosurgeons to remove as much of the cancerous lesion as possible without damaging healthy brain or spinal tissue. We utilize a number of advanced surgical techniques, including awake craniotomies and MRI-guided laser ablation, and we perform many complex spinal surgeries.
- Radiation therapy, with options such as three-dimensional conformal radiation therapy, stereotactic radiosurgery and intensity-modulated radiation therapy to help deliver radiation to a tumor while sparing essential gray matter.
- Chemotherapy, including intravenous and oral agents, as well as intrathecal chemotherapy, in which drugs are delivered directly into the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) that surrounds the brain and spinal cord.
- Biological, immunological, genetic and hormone therapies, including anti-angiogenic agents, interferon and interleukin therapy, viral gene, antisense therapy and treatments that target anti-estrogen and anti-progesterone receptors.
Additionally, Moffitt is widely known for its robust clinical trial program, which allows participants to benefit from the latest brain cancer treatment options before they are available elsewhere. No matter what challenges our patients are facing, our experienced, multispecialty team will help them identify the best options for their unique needs. No referral is required to receive treatment from physicians in our Neuro-Oncology Program.
Medically Reviewed by Dr. Michael Vogelbaum, Program Leader, Department of Neuro-Oncology.