Piedmont Oncology Provides Personalized Care for Brain Cancer

Careful treatment planning begins as soon as the brain or spinal cord tumor has been diagnosed, often including treatment options that can occur before surgery. At Piedmont Brain Tumor Center, our specialty team works together for the best treatment plan for each individual. 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.



Brain tumor surgery is usually the first step in precision treatment. Most surgeries aim to remove as much of the tumor as possible without causing new neurological problems, such as language or 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 surgeries are performed in special operating rooms at Piedmont Atlanta Hospital using advanced surgical techniques and imaging technologies, including computer-assisted brain navigation and spine navigation. 

Surgery for spinal cord tumors is a highly specialized area of neurosurgery. The goals of surgery for these tumors often include a biopsy to make an accurate diagnosis, removal of tumor tissue in certain tumor types, and removal of nearby structures, such as spine bones, 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 customizes the radiation to the tumor for more targeted therapy to avoid damaging surrounding tissue. Radiation is usually administered in small daily doses over four to six weeks. The radiation beam targets the tumor site in the cavity left after surgery and includes microscopic tumor cells in the surrounding brain. In certain situations, radiation treatment can be highly targeted using stereotactic radiosurgery in only 1-5 treatments. Piedmont Brain Tumor Center was the first in the Southeast to offer Gamma Knife radiation therapy for brain tumors. We also offer stereotactic radiosurgery to larger regions of the brain as well as to some spine tumors using a linear accelerator (LINAC) that uses a waveguide to produce high-energy X-rays for a similar effect. 

Radiation treatments are not painful but can make patients tired and lose hair at the treatment site. Our radiation oncologists and neuro-oncologists specialize in minimizing early and delayed side effects through medicine and clinical trials.     

Similar principles are used for patients with tumors or the spine, with radiation oncologists mixing treatments to target the tumor. These treatments include both fractionated radiotherapy (or dividing radiation treatments into smaller doses) and LINAC-based stereotactic radiosurgery.


Medical Therapy

There are many different medications that Piedmont’s cancer specialists can administer to help control the growth of brain tumors. A neuro-oncologist prescribes these medications that can attack tumor cells directly; or indirectly through control of blood vessel growth, stimulation of the immune system or many other mechanisms. They are often referred to as chemotherapy, immunotherapy (sometimes vaccines) and anti-angiogenic therapy. Medical therapies can be delivered by mouth, IV, or vaccine, into the cerebral spinal fluid, into the brain using a catheter aided by pressure, 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 work together with medical oncologists and other specialists as part of our integrated treatment plans. 


Our multi-disciplinary team considers all the options for spine tumors and crafts a customized treatment plan that can include different treatment types, including surgery, radiation or radiosurgery, and chemo- or immunotherapy.



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


Clinical Trials

Piedmont Oncology offers the newest treatment options to patients through advanced research and clinical trials. Our specialists and clinical trial coordinators can 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.

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