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Treatment options for brain and spinal tumors

Targeting brain cancer and tumors with precision

The Legacy Cancer Institute has many treatment options for these complex cancers. Your treatment may include surgery, radiation therapy, chemotherapy and clinical trials. 

A team approach to care

Legacy's team of specialists work together to evaluate your diagnosis and develop a personalized treatment plan for you. Our doctors consider the best evidence available in recommending treatment options. They also weigh whether clinical trials (research studies) should be considered.

Our specialists meet and discuss every brain and spinal tumor case regularly. They also review complex cases and provide second opinions on diagnosis, pre-treatment evaluation, staging, treatment strategy and rehabilitation. 

Radiation therapy: Precise and advanced technology

Gamma Knife 
Our radiation oncologists and neurosurgeons work together to use the non-invasive and precise “Gamma Knife.” Gamma Knife is often a treatment option for metastatic brain cancer. Gamma Knife is used to treat brain tumors with “stereotactic radiosurgery” while sparing the nearby healthy brain tissue. It is also used for benign tumors. Unlike traditional surgery, there is no cutting of the tissues involved; and treatment happens in an outpatient setting where patients go home the same day.

Surgery: Advanced robotics and imaging 

BrainPath minimally invasive brain surgery is an option for some deep and complex brain tumors. This technology helps keep brain function by protecting the brain's white matter and nerve pathways during surgery. Surgeons push nerves away instead of cutting them.

O-Arm and Stealth neuro-navigation  
Other surgical tools include the most modern operating microscopes and surgical visualization tools, neuro-endoscopes, neuro-navigation platforms (Stealth) and the O-Arm. Neuro-navigation technology helps the surgeon find the safest pathways to get into the brain; it also helps them remove as much of the tumor as they can, with a minimally invasive approach. The operating microscope links to the neuro-navigation to guide the surgeon in finding and assessing the tumor. The O-Arm gives accurate, real-time imaging of the spinal column during surgery; it helps with finding the right spinal level and with fitting any hardware within the spine. 

Chemotherapy: Tailored treatments for each patient

As part of the OHSU Knight–Legacy Health Cancer Collaborative, medical oncologists work closely with Legacy surgeons and radiation oncologists. This multi-modality approach provides patients with the most comprehensive and effective treatment plans. We offer the latest chemotherapy advances as well as access to clinical trials both at Legacy and through the OHSU Knight–Legacy Health Cancer Collaborative. Our infusion centers are conveniently located at sites in N.W. Portland, Tualatin, Gresham and Vancouver as well as at the OHSU Knight Cancer Institute Beaverton. Our on-site labs and excellent infusion nurses ensure the entire process is patient-centered.

For more information or to request a consultation call 503-413-7250.

Find a clinical trial.

Childhood cancer

The Children's Cancer and Blood Disorders Program at Randall Children's Hospital offers broad expertise caring for children with cancers of all types. This includes a specialized neuro-oncology program for children with brain and spinal tumors. 

Learn more about our children's brain tumor program