Brain, skull base and spinal cancers - glioblastoma, gliosarcoma, anaplastic astrocytoma, astrocytoma, oligoastrocytoma, ependymoma, meningioma, brain metastases, chordoma, chondrosarcoma, craniopharyngioma, central neurocytoma, pituitary tumors, pineal region tumors, acoustic neuroma, hemangioblastoma, and spinal tumors.
At the Hollings Cancer Center, our Brain & Spine Tumor program encompasses:
- Brain Tumor Conferences - Allows neuro-oncology, neurosurgery, pathology, radiology, and radiation oncology to collaborate in a meeting to plan the best treatment for the most difficult cases.
- Ongoing Novel Research in the Area of Gliomagenesis
- Skull Base Surgery Program – complex lesions of the skull base are addressed by surgical teams from Neurological Surgery, Head and Neck Surgery, Orbital surgery and Plastic Surgery employing the latest microsurgical techniques. The collaboration between ENT (rhinologists and head & neck surgeons) and neurosurgery is not available at the same level anywhere else in the state.
- Pituitary Tumor Program – Subspecialty physicians from Neurological Surgery, Neuro-ophthalmology, Otolaryngology and Endocrinology unite to plan treatment, which is usually minimally invasive endoscopic surgery.
- Gamma Knife Center - Cutting edge technology and years of expertise in stereotactic radiosurgery treating malignant and non-malignant intracranial disorders.
- Dedicated neuroscience intensive care unit (NSICU) – seven beds dedicated to patients with critical neurologic problems. This unit is staffed by dedicated neurointensivists.
- Electronic medical records – enables any of the multidisciplinary team members to access a patient’s information for 24/7 involvement in the care.
- Video EEG monitoring – monitors a patient’s seizure activities.
- Neuroimaging - Advanced imaging technologies
The MUSC Hollings Brain & Spine Tumor Program utilizes the latest MRI scanners with dedicated imaging protocols for evaluation of brain tumors including:
- MR perfusion - evaluation of blood vessels and blood supply to brain tumors, also used to distinguish tumor from treatment effects.
- MR Spectroscopy - chemical analysis of brain tissue to determine tumor type and distinguish tumor from treatment effects.
- Functional MRI (fMRI) - maps brain activity for treatment planning
- Diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) - shows white matter tracts important for preoperative planning
- Nuclear medicine imaging techniques:
- FDG-PET/CT scans - analyze metabolic activity in tumors to determine tumor type, margins and response to treatment.
- Fusion (coregistration) of PET/CT ad MR images - more precisely establish tumor extension and treatment effects.
- MUSC's Center for Advanced Imaging Research is also continually working on imaging innovations.
- Image-guided systems - minimally invasive procedures using both MRI and CT imaging to locate and remove tumors.
- Portable CT scanner - enables bedside scans and gives physicians immediate results.