Brain and Spine Tumors (Neuro-oncology)
The Neuro-oncology program at WVU Medicine offers innovative, specialized treatments to patients with primary and secondary tumors of the brain and spine.
Brain tumors can be benign, which means there are no cancer cells, or malignant, with cancer cells that grow quickly.
Brain and spinal tumors can cause many symptoms. Some of the most common are:
- headaches, usually worse in the morning
- nausea and vomiting
- changes in your ability to talk, hear, or see
- problems with balance or walking
- problems with thinking or memory
- muscle jerking or twitching
- numbness or tingling in arms or legs
Surgical treatments for patients with brain tumors include the use of computer-guided navigation systems in the operating room. Procedures such as Gamma Knife radiosurgery (a highly precise form of radiation therapy) enable tumor removal through smaller openings while minimizing the irritation of surrounding brain tissue.
These techniques have greatly reduced the risk of surgery, improved patient comfort, and shortened hospital stays to frequently less than three days.
Surgical treatments occasionally involve the cooperation of other surgical disciplines, such as otolaryngology, oculoplastics, and plastic surgery when the tumors involve the ears, sinuses, or eyes.
Gamma Knife Radiosurgery
The Gamma Knife is an advanced tool for the treatment of benign and malignant tumors, arteriovenous malformations (AVMs), facial pain, and other functional brain disorders. Read more>>>
What to Expect as a New Patient
When you come to WVU Hospitals for diagnosis and treatment, you will be evaluated by our team of experts from the departments of:
- rehabilitation medicine
- radiation physics
We want to make your visits to WVU as convenient as possible. When you visit our clinic, you may meet with various team members on the same day so you won’t have to make multiple trips.
You will also need to bring your complete radiology files and any pathology slides from previous biopsies.
Rehabilitation will be a part of your treatment program when you come to us for care. We also provide educational materials and counseling sessions to you and your family. We want you to understand your condition and know the relative risks and potential benefits of the various treatment options available to you.
Dr. Ali Rezai, executive chair of the West Virginia University Rockefeller Neuroscience Institute, lays out his bold, new vision for neuroscience at WVU. Joining Dr. Rezai are WVU President Gorden Gee, Albert Wright, president and chief executive officer of the West Virginia University Health System, and Clay Marsh, MD, vice president and executive dean for Health Science at WVU.
Research drives patient care at any large academic medical center. As stroke treatment has dramatically evolved in the past decade, WVU Medicine’s neurointerventionists have emerged as national leaders in their relatively new field. Here, Ansaar Rai, MD, WVU Medicine Radiology vice chair of clinical operations, discusses the past and present of stroke treatment.
Neurosurgeons treat their patients through the use of a delicate, targeted procedure; the best neurosurgeons are skilled at several. WVU Medicine neurosurgeon Robert A. Marsh, MD, PhD, says his best approach is unique to each patient, and considers wishes as well as needs.