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Physicians looking at an image of a brain on a computer

Primary Brain Tumors

A brain tumor is a collection of abnormal cells in your brain. The tumor may be primary (starting in your brain). Or, the tumor may be metastatic (cancer that started in another place in your body and spread to your brain).

There are many different types of primary brain tumors. They can be:

  • Benign: slow-growing and not cancerous
  • Malignant: faster-growing and cancerous

Brain tumors can cause serious damage, even if they are benign. The degree of damage depends upon the type, size and location of the tumor.

Northwestern Memorial Hospital serves patients from across the country and around the world who have primary 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. They reflect our commitment to caring for each patient from diagnosis through treatment, and on to rehabilitation. Our team is often able to offer new treatments that are not yet widely available, through clinical trials.

Meet The Team

Two physicians operating on a patient

Patients with primary brain tumors require care from multiple specialists to achieve the best outcomes for each patient. Your multidisciplinary care team includes experts who specialize in primary brain tumors. We welcome patients seeking second opinions. To make an appointment, call us 24/7 at 312.695.4360 or fill out a form.

Meet the Lou and Jean Malnati Brain Tumor Institute 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. Our radiation oncologists offer the latest radiation technologies, including radiosurgery and proton beam therapy. We perform more brain and spine tumor surgeries than any other health system in Illinois.

Complex cases are reviewed by Northwestern Neuro-Oncology Tumor Board. The board is made up of some of the world’s leading experts in their fields:

Types of Primary Brain Tumors We Treat

Our experts care for all types of primary brain tumors, including rare brain tumors:

Latest Treatment Options

We offer a range of treatments for primary brain tumors. These include non-surgical, surgical and minimally invasive treatment options.

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.

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 and a better quality of life for individuals 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, including integrating clinical, radiologic, pathologic and molecular data to ensure the most accurate diagnoses possible. We are able to conduct these analyses even on tissue which has been resected (removed) at other institutions.

Locations & Contact Information
    23-2202g USNWR National Specialty Cards_NHM_National Neuro

    Northwestern Memorial Hospital
    Top 10 in Neurology & Neurosurgery (No. 10)

    23-2202b USNWR National Specialty Cards_NHM_National Cancer

    Northwestern Memorial Hospital
    Nationally recognized in Cancer (No. 18)

    El Programa de Tumores de Cerebro y Columna

    Esta clínica es la primera en ofrecer acceso a líderes en el campo de la neurocirugía y neuro-oncología, y atención medica con un enfoque multidisciplinario, todo en español.