The Division of Neuro-Oncology, as part of Yale Brain Tumor Center, puts together all of the components critical to managing patients with primary brain tumors, metastases, and neurologic complications of cancer: comprehensive evaluation and diagnosis, leading edge treatment options, thorough follow-up and psychosocial support. Patients are welcome whether they are newly diagnosed or have already received extensive treatment.
Associate Professor of Medicine (Medical Oncology), of Neurology and of Neurosurgery
Clinical Program Leader, Brain Tumor Program, Smilow Cancer Hospital
The most common disorders treated by our division are:
Primary Nervous System Tumors
- Neuroepithelial Tumors (astrocytomas, oligodendrogliomas, glioblastoma multiforme, medulloblastoma etc.)
- Primary Central Nervous System Lymphoma
- Nerve Sheath Tumors (Schwannoma, Neurofibroma)
- Germ Cell Tumors
- Pituitary Region Tumors (Pituitary Adenoma, Craniopharyngeoma)
Nervous System Metastases
- Metastases of Brain, Spinal Cord
- Meningeal Metastases (‘meningeal carcinomatosis’)
- Epidural Metasases, Spinal Cord Compression
Neurologic Complications of Cancer
- Complications of Cancer Therapy (for example, chemotherapy-related neuropathies)
- Cancer-related Seizures
- Paraneoplastic Syndromes including (for example, myasthenia gravis, limbic encephalitis)
- Opportunistic Infections
- Stroke in Cancer Patients
The patient is our team’s focus. Complex cases are presented at our weekly multidisciplinary team conference in order to arrive at the most appropriate treatment plan for each individual. As an academic referral center, our team of specialists has the ability to treat the rarest as well as the most common neuro-oncologic disorders. Because of the center’s research and teaching mission, its practitioners are well acquainted with the most advanced treatment methods. Patients benefit from that knowledge and from specialized resources such as state-of-the-art outpatient and inpatient chemotherapy units, a dedicated neurological intensive care unit, latest imaging technologies including intraoperative MRI, as well as the most advanced radiation techniques.
A monthly support group meeting for brain tumor patients and their families provides continuing emotional and educational support to those living with a diagnosis of brain cancer. Patients have an opportunity to learn first-hand from others who have experienced similar surgeries and therapies. It provides an informal setting to talk, listen and learn more about what resources are available.
Physicians in our division maintain a close working relationship with physicians practicing in the community. They welcome referrals and supply physicians with regular reports on diagnostic findings and treatment recommendations.
Yale Brain Tumor Center is a multidisciplinary disease unit at Yale Comprehensive Cancer Center and Smilow Cancer Hospital at Yale New Haven Hospital comprised of five neurosurgeons, two medical neuro-oncologists, three radiation oncologists, two neuropathologists, two neuroradiologists, a clinical coordinator, physician assistants, social worker, nurses, and clinical research staff. Yale Comprehensive Cancer Center is accredited by the National Cancer Institute. Smilow Cancer Hospital at Yale New Haven Hospital is a newly built state-of-the-art 14 story facility offering 168 inpatient beds, 12 operating rooms, radiology services, doctors’ offices and outpatient infusion suites dedicated to the care of cancer patients. Yale Brain Tumor Center is a member of the Radiation Therapy Oncology Group.
Calls from referring physicians, patients or their families are handled by an experienced clinical care coordinator. The coordinator ensures that appropriate appointments are made quickly. New patients with brain tumors are usually seen within a couple of days. The care coordinator also acts as the patient’s interface with the various medical specialists who are called into play in each treatment plan.