The Perlmutter Cancer Center offers a variety of treatments for patients diagnosed with tumors in the brain and spinal cord. Pediatric patients receive their care at the Hassenfeld Center . Adults receive treatment at the Perlmutter Cancer Center. Inpatient surgery is performed at NYU Medical Center, just a few blocks from the Perlmutter Cancer Center and Hassenfeld.
Depending on the type and stage of your cancer, your doctor may recommend one or a combination of the following approaches:
- Surgery to remove the tumor and nearby affected tissues. NYU neurosurgeons rely on sophisticated monitoring tests-before or during surgery-which map areas of the brain responsible for vital functions such as movement. The surgeons use this information to plan surgery and, whenever possible, avoid removing important areas of brain tissue. Using this approach, NYU's neurosurgeons do everything possible to maintain each patient's quality of life while delivering the most effective brain tumor treatment. NYU has pioneered computer-assisted navigational techniques in the operating room to determine the safest approach for removing deep-seated brain tumors.
- Chemotherapy (use of one or a combination of drugs to kill cancer cells), which may be used with radiation therapy before surgery to try to shrink the tumor or after surgery to kill any remaining cancer cells. Chemotherapy is administered by NYU's highly skilled oncology nurses. Some patients with aggressive or recurrent brain cancer undergo high-dose drug treatment followed by stem cell rescue, which enables doctors to deliver higher, more effective doses of chemotherapy drugs without permanently compromising the patient's blood and immune systems.
- Radiation therapy (delivery of finely focused beams of irradiation to kill cancer cells and shrink tumors), which may be used before surgery to shrink the tumor, or after surgery to kill any remaining cancer cells. The Perlmutter Cancer Center offers the most effective, highly targeted radiation therapy approaches for brain cancer, including conformal focused irradiation and Gamma Knife surgery. The Gamma Knife, a type of stereotactic radiosurgery, is used to remove abnormalities that are too deep or too close to delicate structures and blood vessels in the brain to reach with a scalpel. The Gamma Knife uses advanced computer technology to create a 3D picture of the brain tumor area and bombard that targeted area with irradiation. This finely focused radiation therapy enables doctors to deliver more effective doses of radiation with less damage to surrounding healthy tissue.
After treatment, Perlmutter Cancer Center physicians also work with your personal doctor to assure continuity of care.