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.

Common Symptoms

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

Neuro-oncology Surgery

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.

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:

  • neurosurgery
  • neuropsychology
  • neurology
  • rehabilitation medicine
  • radiation-oncology
  • radiation physics
  • nursing
  • neuropathology
  • neuroradiology

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.