COVID-19 Resource Center

Review the latest information on visitor policies, safety procedures, vaccines, and more in the COVID-19 Resource Center.

Notice of a Privacy Incident

Learn more about this incident.

Skull Base Main Image

Skull Base Tumors

The skull base, sometimes called the cranial base or cranial floor, is made up of the bones, nerves, blood vessels and tissues that separate the brain from the face and neck. The blood vessels supply the brain with nutrients and oxygen. The nerves control vision, smell, hearing, facial movement, facial sensation, swallowing and tongue movement. Tumors can form anywhere along the skull base and affect these functions. Because of the complex anatomy of the skull base, it takes a high level of expertise and skill, cutting-edge technologies and minimally invasive techniques to safely remove these tumors.

Northwestern Memorial Hospital serves patients from across the country and around the world who have skull base 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.

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.

To make an appointment, call us 24/7 at 833.882.BRAIN (833.882.7246) or fill out a form.

Meet the Team

Skull Base Meet the Team
Patients with skull base tumors require individualized care from multidisciplinary teams of specialists to achieve the best outcomes for each patient.

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 Brain Tumor Board. The board is made up some of the world’s leading experts in their fields:

The team will work together to determine the best plan of care for you. To make an appointment, call us 24/7 at 833.882.BRAIN (833.882.7246) or fill out a form.

Types Of Skull Base Tumors

We diagnose and treat all skull base tumors, as well as conditions of the skull base that are not tumors.

  • Acoustic Neuroma
  • Acromegaly
  • Adenoid Cystic Carcinomas
  • Choleseatomas
  • Chondrosarcoma
  • Chordoma
  • Cranial Nerve Schwannomas
  • Craniopharyngiomas
  • Cushing Disease
  • Epidermoid Cysts
  • Germinoma
  • Head and Neck Cancers
  • Inverted Papilloma
  • Juvenile Angiofibroma
  • Low Grade Glioma
  • Meningiomas
  • Metastatic Tumors
  • Olfactory Neuroblastoma (Esthesioneuroblastomas)
  • Orbital Tumors
  • Osteomas
  • Paragangliomas
  • Pineal Tumors
  • Pituitary Tumors
  • Sinonasal Cancers
  • Solitary Fibrous Tumors (Hemangiopericytomas)
  • Squamous Cell Carcinoma
  • Trigeminal Schwannomas


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

  • Chemotherapy
  • Endoscopic Assisted Craniotomies
  • External Beam Radiation Therapy
  • Medication
  • Minimally Invasive Endoscopic Endonasal Surgery
  • Minimally Invasive Keyhole Surgery
  • Minimally Invasive Supraorbital (Eyebrow) Craniotomy
  • Minimally Invasive Transorbital (Eyelid) Approaches
  • Proton Beam Radiation Therapy
  • Skull Base And Traditional Open Transcranial Approaches
  • Stereotactic Radiosurgery
  • Transtemporal Surgery

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 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. 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.


    Northwestern Memorial Hospital
    Top 10 in Neurology & Neurosurgery (No. 9)


    Northwestern Memorial Hospital
    Nationally recognized in Cancer (No. 6)

    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.