- Computerized tomography (CT)
- High resolution magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
- Positron emission tomography (PET)
Treating Brain and Spinal Cord Tumors
Our neuro-oncology program uses a multidisciplinary approach to care working collaboratively with other subspecialties within Penn Neurology and other disciplines across Penn Medicine. Specialists come together to discuss patient cases in meetings called tumor boards. Our neuro-oncology tumor board meets once a week. The board works together to create treatment plans that meet the unique needs of each patient.
We work with subspecialists from:
Our neurologists implement evidence-based treatments for rare and complicated tumors and related conditions. Treatment options offered include:
Support Services for People with Brain and Spinal Cord Tumors
A brain or spinal cord tumor diagnosis can be frightening and overwhelming for patients, families and caregivers. At Penn, we offer support services to help you and your family cope through this difficult time.
Our at-home services focus on meeting the health needs of homebound cancer patients and their families. These services enable cancer patients to maintain personal dignity and independence while receiving a variety of clinical and support services. This personalized approach actively encourages family involvement in a patient's case. Our nurses, social workers, dietitians, home health aides and specially trained volunteers are available to assist you at home. The home care staff works under the direction of your personal doctor who remains in charge of your medical care.
The neuro-oncology program has a full-time social worker dedicated to providing support and assistance to you and your family. We provide counseling and are available to meet with you privately or in family sessions. Whenever possible, these sessions can be scheduled to coincide with doctor visits.
The Abramson Cancer Center has one of the largest and longest-running brain tumor support groups in the region. Patients and families join once a month for two hours to discuss common issues and share experiences. It is a wonderful opportunity to gain support and knowledge while meeting others facing similar situations and feelings. The group also conducts open meetings for general support and provides opportunities for patient and family networking.
Clinicians and scientists at the University of Pennsylvania are involved in a large variety of research endeavors aimed at understanding the basic biology of glial tumors. The National Cancer Institute (NCI) at The National Institutes of Health (NIH), the American Cancer Society, the Department of Veteran Affairs, and the Brain Tumor Society are among several organizations that have supported this important research.
Current research endeavors include:
- Gene imaging
- Gene transfer
- Signal transduction
- Tumor hypoxia