Types of Spine Tumors

Types of Spine Tumors

Tumors are grouped into two categories: those that grow out of the bony spine itself and those that grow from tissues within the spinal canal (the dura, spinal cord and nerve roots). Tumors in the spine are either primary tumors that began in the spine, or metastatic tumors—meaning they’ve spread to the spine from another part of the body. Identifying the type of tumor a patient has is critical for delivering the appropriate treatment.


Tumors That Grow From the Bone

Primary Tumors: These tumors can be benign or malignant. A CT-guided biopsy can be vital in identifying the tumor and planning the appropriate treatment with a team of multidisciplinary doctors.
  • Aneurysmal Bone Cyst (ABC)
  • Giant Cell Tumor
  • Osteoid Osteoma
  • Osteoblastoma
  • Hemangioma (Atypical Hemangioma)
  • Chordoma
  • Chondrosarcoma
  • Sarcoma
  • Ewing Sarcoma
  • Malignant Peripheral Nerve Sheath Tumor (MPNST)
  • Hemangiopericytoma (Solitary Fibrous Tumor)
  • Leiomyosarcoma
  • Osteosarcoma
  • Angiosarcoma
  • Alveolar Soft Part Sarcoma
  • Fibrosarcoma
Metastatic Tumors: These tumors begin in other organs of the body and travel to the spine. Treatment depends on where the tumor originated and how it’s affecting the spine (if there is pain, numbness or weakness). A coordinated care plan involving your oncologist, a spine surgeon specializing in tumors and a radiation oncologist is essential to provide the highest level of care when treating a metastatic tumor.

Tumors Arising From Within the Spinal Cord

Dural Based Tumors (these are tumors that begin in the tissue that forms the sack containing fluid around the spinal cord and brain)
  • Meningioma
  • Hemangiopericytoma
Spinal Cord Tumors
  • Ependymoma
  • Subependymoma
  • Myxopapillary Ependymoma
  • Paraganglioma
  • Dermoid
  • Lipoma
  • Low Grade Astrocytoma
  • Anaplastic Astrocytoma
  • Glioblastoma
Nerve Root Tumors
  • Schwannoma
  • Neurofibroma

Brain and Spine Tumor Center

The Brain and Spine Tumor Center at Northwestern Medicine Central DuPage Hospital and Northwestern Medicine Delnor Hospital provides state-of-the-art tumor treatment, resources and support for patients and families to meet the challenges of living with a brain tumor. Our Brain and Spine Tumor Center offers easy access to brain tumor treatment and clinical trials close to home and is the only brain tumor program in the western Chicago suburbs with a fellowship-trained neuro-oncologist and a radiation oncologist1 dedicated to the central nervous system (CNS).

Brain and Spine Tumor Center leadership:

The Brain and Spine Tumor Center comprehensive program includes:

Download our Brain and Spine Tumor Center brochure for more information.