Clinician looking at an image of a brain on a computer screen

What Are Gliomas?

Gliomas are brain tumors that come from glial cells. Glial cells support and nourish neurons in the brain. Gliomas are divided into two categories: low grade and high grade. Low grade gliomas are slow-growing tumors. They often affect younger adults. High grade gliomas tend to grow more quickly. They occur more often as people age.

Common types of gliomas include:

Northwestern Medicine Lou and Jean Malnati Brain Tumor Institute of Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center of Northwestern University at Northwestern Memorial Hospital serves patients from across the country and around the world with gliomas, including glioblastoma (GBM). Our physicians and surgeons specialize in the treatment of challenging conditions. They are among the world’s leading experts. When options are limited, our experienced team can often offer innovative therapies and novel treatments.

Why Choose Us

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 can often 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. This is 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

patient shaking hands with Dr. Stupp

Patients with gliomas need care from multidisciplinary teams of specialists. This helps each patient achieve the best outcome. 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

Low Grade Glioma Program

The Northwestern Medicine Low Grade Glioma Program was established at Northwestern Memorial Hospital to diagnose and treat low grade gliomas. Northwestern Memorial Hospital is the only Illinois hospital on the national Honor Roll for 13 straight years.

The Low Grade Glioma Program is one of the few clinics that specializes in the care and treatment of low grade gliomas. The compassionate, multidisciplinary specialists at the clinic will take the time to understand your needs. They will use their expertise to create a care plan that is tailored to you.

Advanced Diagnosis and Treatment

At Northwestern Memorial Hospital, you will have access to the latest imaging and diagnostic tools. You will also have access to the most advanced surgical and non-surgical treatments. Our neuro-oncology team is one of the largest in the country. It 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.*

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

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 advanced treatments 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 (removed) at other institutions.

Locations & Contact Information
    Northwestern Memorial Hospital is ranked No. 11 by U.S. News and World Report in Neurology & Neurosurgery.

    Northwestern Memorial Hospital
    Nationally recognized in Neurology & Neurosurgery (No. 11)

    Northwestern Memorial Hospital is Nationally recognized (No. 20) in Cancer by U.S. News and World Report, 2024-2025.

    Northwestern Memorial Hospital
    Nationally recognized in Cancer (No. 20)

    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.

    * Illinois COMPdata; inpatient only; includes all Illinois zip codes.