Due to direct involvement of critical structures of the brain, spinal cord and nerves, tumors of the nervous system often cannot be cured or effectively managed by surgery alone. Even benign tumors of the nervous system frequently cannot be surgically cured and must be considered for additional treatments such as radiation therapy or chemotherapy. Surgical management must be carefully integrated with radiotherapy and chemotherapy; aggressive management may prolong life and improve functional status and quality of life.

Jackson Memorial Hospital’s Neuro-Oncology Group works in association with the University of Miami Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center to promote multi-disciplinary cooperation in the management of patients — both children and adults — with nervous system tumors, while developing clinical and laboratory studies aimed at improving the outlook for these patients. The team employs aggressive treatment protocols involving state-of-the-art techniques and encourages patients to consider these options. Multidisciplinary conferences, including representatives of neurosurgery, neurology, radiation oncology, and medical oncology, are held for discussion of patient management and research protocols. Comprehensive interdisciplinary management plans are formulated and patients are evaluated to determine their eligibility for research protocols.

Available neurosurgical techniques include stereotactic surgery, intraoperative sonography and cortical electrical mapping under local or general anesthesia. Embolization of selected intracranial tumors is performed by interventional neuroradiologists and skull base tumors are often managed in collaboration with head and neck oncology specialists.