The Neuro-Oncology Division at the University of Pittsburgh Department of Neurology provides state-of-the-art treatment for patients with brain tumors, spinal tumors, neurofibromatosis, and patients enduring neurologic complications from cancer or cancer therapies. These symptoms can include stroke, neurobehavioral disorders, neurological complications from chemotherapy and/or radiation therapy, and paraneoplastic neurological syndromes. Each year the division care for more than five hundred new patients with brain tumors.
Physicians in the division focus on creating personalized and comprehensive treatment plans for each patient; collaboration with neurosurgeons, radiation oncologists, neuropathologists and neuroradiologists is key in giving each patient the best possible care. Within the division, neuro-oncologists address central and peripheral nervous system conditions that may impact cancer patients, while neuropsychologists focus on diagnosing and treating cognitive and behavioral effects of cancer.
Expertise in this division extends to treating patients with central nervous system tumors, which can include gliomas (glioblastoma multiforme, astrocytoma, brain stem glioma, ependymoma, oligodendroglioma), meningioma, vestibular schwannoma, central nervous system lymphoma, metastatic brain and spine disease, and other primary spinal cord tumors.
Another area of focus is genetic disorders. This includes neurofibromatosis and Van Hippel Lindau disease, which leads to the growth of tumors in the nervous system. Our physicians actively collaborate with the UPMC Brain Tumor Center, University of Pittsburgh Department of Neurological Surgery, and the UPMC Hillman Cancer Center to translate laboratory advancements into improved treatment options for patients. With this collaborative effort, our physicians and their team continuously work to advance patient care and treatment outcome.
The neuro-oncology team sees outpatients at UPMC Hillman Cancer Center, as well as in-patient consultations at UPMC Shadyside, Presbyterian, Montefiore, and Magee Women’s Hospitals. When a patient comes to UPMC for brain cancer treatment, they will meet a team of caring and knowledgeable doctors and nurses; a care navigator, social worker, and dietician will help patients cope with the stress and new fears of their diagnosis. Additionally, there is a program offered to help manage cancer symptoms and treatment side effects in a holistic manner.