Metastatic (Secondary) Brain Tumors
A primary brain tumor is a type of tumor that starts in the brain. A metastatic or secondary brain tumor is cancer that starts in another part of the body and spreads to the brain. This is the most common type of brain cancer.
Any cancer can spread to the brain, but metastatic brain tumors are most commonly caused by the following cancers:
There are many treatment options for brain metastases. Your healthcare provider will decide the best regimen for you based on your needs. Your treatment also depends on if your tumor has spread to other organs. Treatment may include surgery, radiation or systemic therapies, such as chemotherapy, immunotherapy or targeted therapies. It is common to need a combination of treatments.
Northwestern Memorial Hospital serves patients from across the country and around the world who have metastatic brain tumors. Through the Lou and Jean Malnati Brain Tumor Institute of Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center at Northwestern University, we offer a wide range of services and treatments. Our commitment is to care for each patient based on their needs. Our team will help make a precise diagnosis. This often includes modern molecular and genetic characterization of your tumor. We will coordinate an efficient evaluation with many specialties and providers, all under the roof of the Malnati Brain Tumor Institute. Our dedicated social worker is here to help with needs at home, financial support or guidance. They can also help find a rehabilitation center close to your home. We strive to offer tomorrow’s treatments today. Please ask about clinical trials.
We are proud to be part of the Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center of Northwestern University, home to one of just six Specialized Program of Research Excellence (SPORE) grants for brain cancer funded by the National Cancer Institute.
Meet The Team
Advanced Diagnosis and Treatment
At Northwestern Memorial Hospital, you will have access to the latest imaging and diagnostic tools available, as well as the most advanced surgical and non-surgical treatment options. Our neuro-oncology team is one of the largest in the country, and includes world-renowned experts who are defining the future of brain tumor treatment. Our radiation oncologists offer the latest radiation technologies, including radiosurgery, GammaKnife™ and proton beam radiotherapy. We perform more brain and spine tumor surgeries than any other health system in Illinois.
Complex cases are reviewed by Northwestern Brain Tumor Board. The board is made up of some of the world’s leading experts in their fields:
- Radiation oncologists
- Neurologists specializing in tumor-related epilepsy
- Cancer genetic counselors
A National Destination for Brain and Spine Tumor Second Opinions
After you receive a brain or spine tumor diagnosis, finding the right treatment can seem overwhelming. Getting a second opinion can help you feel confident about your diagnosis and treatment plan. Among the world’s leading experts, people across the country turn to our team for second opinions. To make an appointment, call us 24/7 at 833.882.BRAIN (833.882.7246) or fill out a form.
Improved Outcomes for Brain and Spine Tumor Patients
Our physicians and research scientists seek new treatments for glioblastoma and other gliomas, brain metastases, meningioma, and other brain and spine tumors. These efforts have contributed to new treatments and improved outcomes for our patients. Our commitment to clinical research and bringing the most advanced treatments to our patients translates into improved survival rates. It also leads to a better quality of life for patients with brain and spine tumors.
Expert Pathology Reports
At Northwestern Medicine, our renowned neuropathology team specializes in tumors of the central nervous system. We provide comprehensive evaluations for brain and spine tumors. We combine clinical, radiologic, pathologic and molecular data to make accurate diagnoses. We can even do these analyses on tissue that has been resected at other institutions.