The RUSH Approach to Brain Tumor Care
Finding out you have a brain tumor can be overwhelming. But having a team of experts in your corner can help you determine your next steps.
Research suggests you have better survival outcomes when you receive brain tumor treatment from multiple specialists working together. The RUSH Brain Tumor Center brings together specialists in pediatric neuro-oncology, radiation oncology, adult medical neuro-oncology and neuro-oncologic neurosurgery to ensure that you have the highest level of care possible. They will work with you and the team to create a personalized brain tumor treatment plan that helps you back to your day-to-day functioning.
The RUSH Brain Tumor Center also offers expert care — and hope — to those who have metastatic brain cancer (also known as brain mets).
Brain Tumor Diagnosis
Your RUSH Brain Tumor Center physician may use various tests and imaging techniques to diagnose your condition. These tools often use X-rays or radio waves, and some rely on injections of dyes or materials that allow scanning equipment to create detailed images. Other tests may require a fluid or tissue sample. Your doctor will use the best techniques for your specific case, which will allow them to examine your blood flow, bones, spine and brain and assess the extent of the cancer and whether it has spread, or metastasized, to other parts of the body. Your doctor will then work with you to find the best course of treatment.
Non-surgical Brain Tumor Treatments
While some types of therapy may treat brain tumors without surgery, only a qualified physician can determine the best course of care. These non-surgical therapies may use radiation or other methods to attack cancer cells directly and shrink tumors, and your doctor may also prescribe supportive care to address the emotional and psychological aspects of health that can be affected by a brain tumor diagnosis. Non-surgical therapy may sometimes be used together with other forms of treatment, including surgery. Your RUSH doctor will work with you to prescribe care based on your individual case.
Surgical Brain Tumor Treatments
Surgery for brain tumors relies on creating one or more incisions to directly remove tumors. It may be used together with or as an alternative to non-surgical brain tumor treatment techniques. Some modern surgeries are designed to be minimally invasive, but only a qualified doctor can prescribe appropriate treatment. Your RUSH physician will work with you to determine whether you need surgery based on your individual case.
Second Opinion Services for Brain Tumor Patients
If you're looking to confirm your brain tumor diagnosis and fully explore all your potential treatment options, the RUSH Brain Tumor Center offers second opinion services for brain tumors. This is performed on a case-by-case basis. Your RUSH physician may perform additional imaging techniques and tests to diagnose your condition and consult with other RUSH physicians on the best course of action.
RUSH Excellence in Brain Tumor Care
- A multidisciplinary team of experts: At the RUSH Brain Tumor Center in Chicago, your brain tumor treatment team may include a neuro-oncologist or pediatric neuro-oncologist, neuro-oncologic neurosurgeon, radiation oncologist and a nurse coordinator. Additionally, our brain and spine tumor board meets weekly, discussing the best approach to care for each patient. Together, they draw on their collective expertise to get you a timely, tailored medical and surgical care plan.
- Neurosurgery expertise: If you need brain tumor surgery, you're in the best hands. RUSH Brain Tumor Center neurosurgeons are leaders in the field and specialize in minimally invasive techniques and leading-edge procedures to treat brain tumors.
- Dedicated care for young adults with brain tumors: The RUSH Brain Tumor Center specializes in treating young adults who have been diagnosed with a brain tumor. Our pediatric neuro-oncologist and neurosurgeons collaborate to provide personalized care for young adults — with a focus on quality of life.
- Care and support at every level: A brain tumor can cause plenty of physical and emotional stress for you and your whole family. We will partner with you and your loved ones to address all aspects of your journey. Our cancer supportive care offers a number of resources to help you and your family cope, including psychosocial oncology, nutrition counseling, spiritual support and more. And Waterford Place Cancer Resource Center in Aurora offers a wide range of services free of charge to anyone who has been affected by cancer.
- Nationally ranked experts focused on you: U.S. News & World Report rated RUSH University Medical Center among the best in the nation for neurology and neurosurgery and cancer care. Our multidisciplinary Brain Tumor Center care team will create a care plan tailored to your unique needs.
- Top experience that matters: Our highly skilled experts from more than 10 medical subspecialties provide team-based, personalized care for a full range of skull base brain tumors at the RUSH Center for Pituitary and Skull Base Surgery. They are among a handful of programs that have in-depth experience with these rare tumors. In fact, only about 5% of U.S. hospitals evaluate and treat as many patients with pituitary and skull base tumors as we do here at RUSH. Because of our expertise, we are able to handle even the most complex cases.
- Specialized clinic for metastatic brain cancer: Our multidisciplinary team of neuro-oncologists, neurosurgeons, radiation oncologists and a nurse navigator work together and with you to determine the best course of treatment for metastatic brain tumors. You will be seen by the entire team within a few days of your call.
- Leading-edge treatments and research: Through the RUSH Brain Tumor Center, you will have access to advanced brain tumor treatments you might not find elsewhere as part of new clinical trial testing. For example, researchers are studying whether an experimental vaccine can help patients’ immune systems stop the spread of glioblastoma — an aggressive form of a cancerous brain tumor with very few current treatment options.
- GammaTile therapy: RUSH University Medical Center is the first academic medical center in Chicago to offer GammaTile therapy. It’s a new, FDA-cleared technology that delivers radiation intracranially to patients who have had their operable brain tumor resected. The targeted radiation therapy can aid in preventing or significantly delaying brain tumor recurrence.