Spinal Tumor Care

Our specialists will meet with you to create a personalized treatment plan for your spinal tumor to minimize pain and speed up recovery.

Our specialists will meet with you to create a personalized treatment plan for your spinal tumor to minimize pain and speed up recovery.

Our specialists will meet with you to create a personalized treatment plan for your spinal tumor to minimize pain and speed up recovery.


Among the best in the U.S. for Cancer Care, Orthopedic Care and Neurology and Neurosurgery

U.S. News & World Report ranked Rush University Medical Center among the best in the nation for cancer care, orthopedic care, and neurology and neurosurgery — which all may be involved in treating spinal tumors.

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The Rush Approach to Spinal Tumor Care

While spine tumors are relatively rare, we know they can be life-altering. Whether it's causing back pain, mobility issues or other problems like bladder function, we can help. At Rush, our ultimate goals are to remove the tumor, relieve your pain and restore your ability to move and get around.

Our first step is determining what kind of spinal tumor you have, whether it's cancerous or benign, and how quickly it's growing.

From there, we'll put together a personalized treatment plan that centers on your overall health, lifestyle and type of tumor. For more aggressive, life-threatening tumors, we may recommend surgery, radiation treatments or other targeted therapies. For other situations, the risk of surgery, radiation or medication may outweigh the benefits, particularly in older patients who have other health problems. In those cases, we may recommend watchful waiting, or monitoring the tumor with regular CT or MRI scans, and addressing other ways to manage your symptoms.

Spinal Tumor Care Providers at Rush

Rush has spinal tumor care providers in Chicago, Oak Brook and Aurora/Fox Valley.

Meet our spinal tumor care providers
stethoscope Meet our spinal tumor care providers

Rush Excellence in Spinal Tumor Care

  • We can see you quickly: We can typically get you in to see a provider within the same week that you call. And, at The Coleman Foundation Comprehensive Spine Tumor Clinic at Rush University Medical Center, you will see all of your providers in one convenient appointment to determine a care plan tailored to your unique needs.
  • Minimally invasive options: Our spine surgeons are pioneers in minimally invasive spinal tumor surgery that reduces scarring and pain and speeds up your recovery. Surgeons at Rush were the first in the world to use augmented reality imaging during minimally invasive spine surgery. This allows our surgeons to place minimally invasive spinal instrumentation extremely accurately and efficiently, which reduces the time you spend in surgery and lowers the risk of complications like nerve damage.
  • Innovative technology for complex care: We use the newest technology based on the latest research. Rush was one of the earliest adopters of image-guided radiation therapy, specifically stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) and stereotactic body radiotherapy (SBRT) for treating complex spinal tumors. 
  • Expert collaborative team: We know every spine tumor is different and affects each person differently. That's why we bring together an expert team — which includes spine tumor surgeons, neurologists, medical oncologists, anesthesiologists, pathologists, radiation oncologists and others — who all work together to customize a plan of care that fits your unique needs and symptoms.
  • Second opinion services: Rush offers second opinion services to help you explore all possible treatment options for spinal tumors, including nonsurgical and surgical treatment.
  • Specializing in metastatic cancer that spreads to the spine: Some cancers — including lung, breast, prostate, kidney and thyroid — have a higher likelihood of spreading (or metastasizing) to the spine. Our expert spinal tumor team works closely with other cancer specialists to monitor for and treat metastatic spine tumors.
  • Recognized for excellence in spine surgery: Rush University Medical Center has been designated as a Blue Distinction Center for Spine Surgery. This designation recognizes Rush’s commitment to high-quality care, patient safety and providing the best possible outcomes for our spine surgery patients. It also reflects our expertise with cervical and lumbar fusion, cervical laminectomy and lumbar laminectomy/discectomy procedures, which contributes to fewer complications and readmissions compared to other facilities.  

Cancer Rehabilitation

Rush works with ReVital Cancer Rehabilitation to provide you with the care and tools you need to address pain, fatigue and decreased activity levels during and after spinal tumor treatment.

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John O'Toole, MD

The primary goal for much of what I do, in terms of the surgical treatment of spinal diseases, is trying to relieve pain and restore function. Most effective treatments that we can apply are geared towards helping people manage their pain and improve their pain levels, and ultimately improve their quality of life.

John O'Toole, MD, MS, Neurological Spine Surgeon

Rush Spinal Tumor Care Locations

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Rush Neurosurgery

1725 W Harrison St
Professional Building - Suite 855
Chicago, IL 60612

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Mon: 8:00 am – 5:00 pm
Tue – Sun: Closed
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Oncology doctors with  a patient

Rush University Cancer Center

1725 W Harrison St
Professional Building - Suite 1010
Chicago, IL 60612

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Mon – Fri: 7:00 am – 5:00 pm
Sat – Sun: Closed
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Oak Brook

Rush Oak Brook exterior

Rush Oak Brook

2011 York Rd
Oak Brook, IL 60523

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Mon – Thu: 7:00 am – 5:00 pm
Fri: 8:00 am – 5:00 pm
Sat: 8:00 am – 12:00 pm (Every first and third Saturday; diagnostic imaging and lab hours detailed below)
Sun: Closed
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Northwest Indiana