Brain Tumor Treatments

Northwestern Medicine specialists are experts in the treatment of primary and metastatic brain tumors. We offer the latest brain tumor treatment options delivered by skilled cancer specialists. We take a multidisciplinary approach to diagnosing and treating these cancers. Together, we will develop a treatment plan, tailored to your condition.

Complex brain cancer cases requiring multidisciplinary care are reviewed by the brain tumor diagnostic board and the treatment tumor board at weekly meetings that include representatives from all neuro-oncology clinical specialties. Results of all tumor tissue pathology tests are reviewed, and approaches to treatment are discussed.

If you are diagnosed with a brain tumor, your physician may recommend a single treatment. You may need surgery, medication, radiation therapy, chemotherapy or alternating electrical field therapy. Or, you may have a combination of these treatments.

Surgery. Surgery is a common treatment for many types of brain tumors. It is often the first course of treatment.

Radiation therapy. Your physician may recommend radiation after surgery. If surgery is not an option, radiation may be your primary treatment.

Chemotherapy and other systemic therapies. Chemotherapy uses medications to destroy cancer cells in your body. Other systemically (oral or IV) delivered therapies which may be considered include immunotherapies and targeted therapies.

Tumor-treating fields. These are alternating electrical fields delivered by a set of arrays directly applied to the scalp. These are used in some specific types of tumors.

Medication. Brain tumors often cause symptoms. These may include headaches, pain, seizures, mood swings and other issues. To help you feel better, your physician may prescribe medication.

Additional Brain Tumor Treatments

Clinical Trials

If you have a brain tumor, a clinical trial may provide a promising alternative to your care. As a patient at Northwestern Medicine, you have access to some of the most advanced research trials available anywhere. Talk with your care team about your options.

Related Resources

Lou and Jean Malnati Brain Tumor Institute at the Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center at Northwestern Memorial Hospital
Brain and Spine Tumor Center brochure: Learn about the Brain and Spine Tumor Center at Central DuPage Hospital and Delnor Hospital

The physicians who practice at the Northwestern Medicine Proton Center are neither agents nor employees of Northwestern Memorial HealthCare or any of its affiliate organizations. These physicians have selected our facilities as the place where they want to treat and care for their private patients.