404-425-1800

Piedmont Cancer

Brain Tumor

Piedmont Cancer Provides Personalized Care for Brain Cancer

Careful treatment planning begins as soon as the brain tumor or spinal cord tumor has been diagnosed, many times including treatment options that can occur before surgery. At Piedmont Brain Tumor Center, our specialty team works together for optimal treatment planning for each individual case. Treatment may include surgery, radiation therapy, medical therapy or clinical trials.

We take a team approach to caring for patients with brain cancer. Our multidisciplinary team of doctors, nurses and navigators work together to provide personalized treatment for each patient. Treatment planning conferences are used to provide patients with a treatment recommendation. 

As a certified member in MD Anderson Cancer Network®, a program of the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Piedmont Cancer has access to oncology specialist consultations from clinical experts at the top research cancer center in the U.S.
 

Surgery

Surgery for brain tumors is usually the first step in precision treatment. The goal of most surgeries is to remove as much of the tumor as possible without causing new neurological problems, such as language problems, memory issues or difficulty with balance. Sometimes a biopsy is recommended in which a needle is used to obtain tissue through a small hole in the skull. The decision about what kind of surgery, the goal of the surgery and associated risks are discussed with a brain tumor neurosurgeon. This may include clinical trials that require surgery. Neurosurgical procedures are performed in specialized operating rooms at Piedmont Atlanta Hospital using advanced surgical techniques and advanced imaging technologies, including computer neuro-navigation.

Surgery for spinal cord tumors is a highly specialized area of neurosurgery. The goals of surgery for these rare tumors include a biopsy to make an accurate diagnosis, removal of tumor tissue in certain tumor types, and removal of nearby structures, such as bones of the spine, to reduce symptoms and restore function. 
 

Radiation Therapy

Piedmont radiation oncologists prescribe and administer radiation therapy using the latest technology, including intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT). This advanced radiation therapy precisely conforms the radiation to the tumor for more targeted therapy to avoid damage to surrounding tissue. Radiation is usually administered in small daily doses over four to six weeks. The radiation beam is targeted to the site of the tumor at the cavity left after surgery and includes microscopic tumor cells present in the surrounding brain. Radiation treatments are not painful but can cause fatigue and hair loss on the scalp at the site of the treatment. Our radiation oncologists and neuro-oncologists have expertise in minimizing early and delayed side effects through the use of medicines and clinical trials. In certain situations, radiation treatment is administered in a single dose (stereotactic radiosurgery) using a highly specialized technique that focuses a high dose of radiation on a single area. At Piedmont Brain Tumor Center, we were the first in the Southeast to offer one of the most advanced and proven techniques, Gamma Knife (hyperlink), and linear accelerator (LINAC), a machine that generates energy for external beam radiation treatments.

For spinal cord tumors, radiation therapy uses targeted high-energy x-rays to damage the DNA inside cells of spinal cord tumors. Piedmont radiation oncologists prescribe and administer the treatment using the latest technology. 
 

Medical Therapy

There are many different types of medications that cancer specialists at Piedmont administer to help control the growth of brain tumors. These medications are prescribed by a neuro-oncologist, and can attack tumor cells directly, indirectly through control of blood vessel growth, by stimulation of the immune system, or by many other mechanisms. They are often referred to as chemotherapy, immunotherapy (sometimes vaccines) and anti-angiogenic therapy. Medical therapies can be delivered by mouth, through IV, by vaccine, into the cerebral spinal fluid, into the brain by chemotherapy wafers, or non-invasively through the skull with tumor treating fields. Medical therapies can be routinely available or through research clinical trials. At Piedmont, our neuro-oncologists partner with medical oncologists and other specialists in co-management for integrated treatment plans.

Little is known about the use of chemotherapy for spinal cord tumors. Our spine tumor specialists can discuss advanced treatment options available. These may include routine treatments, clinical trials of medicines and radiation, and treatment aimed at lowering pain or spasms.
 

Devices

Optune is an innovative, continuous electronic brain tumor therapy used to treat glioblastoma, a stage IV brain tumor.  The wearable, portable, non-invasive device slows the growth of tumors and destroys many of them. Benefits include increased length of life, and improved quality of life and functionality. Piedmont Brain Tumor Center is one of the first and among few certified sites for this therapy in the Southeast. 
 

Clinical Trials

Piedmont Cancer offers the newest treatment options to patients through advanced research and clinical trials. Our specialists and clinical trial coordinators are available to review clinical trial options anytime, including before, during and after visits.
 

For More Information on Brain Tumor or Spinal Cord Tumor Treatment

Piedmont Brain Tumor Center’s Navigator can assist with a prompt visit to one of our specialists. Call us at 404-605-2050.