My Chart

Average ER wait time: 10 minutes |

Brain and Spine Cancer

Overview

Chesapeake Regional Healthcare's multidisciplinary neuro-oncology program is centered on diagnosing and treating patients with primary and secondary cancers affecting the brain and spinal cord. The neuro-oncologists also treat tumors related to neurofibromatosis, secondary effects of cancer on the nervous system, and side effects of radiotherapy and chemotherapy.

The neuro-oncology treatment program includes:

  • Surgical resection
  • Focused (Stereotactic) radiotherapy
  • Intra-lesional radiotherapy
  • Chemotherapy
  • Gene therapy
  • Investigational protocols

To ensure patients with brain tumors get the best care possible, our neuro-oncologists work closely with our neurosurgeons, radiation oncologists and neuro-radiologists.

Treatment Options

Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)

MRI is a diagnostic procedure that uses a combination of a large magnet, radiofrequencies, and a computer to produce detailed images of organs and structures within the body. MRI does not use ionizing radiation, as do X-rays and computed tomography (CT) scans. MRI’s are especially helped in detecting abnormal tissue that might be hidden by bone tissue. Chesapeake Regional offers an MRI that uses an open architecture helping patients feel more relaxed and at ease. The open design and movable support table also helps accommodate patients with mobility issues such as the elderly and obese. The system can accommodate patients up to 660 pounds. Claustrophobic patients don't feel trapped in an enclosed space with the open architecture. Authorized family and friends can remain with the patient throughout the procedure and this can be especially helpful with younger patients and the elderly.

Computed tomography (CT) 

A CT scan beams ionizing X-rays through a patient's body at multiple angles. These angles are detected and relayed to a computer, programmed with the absorption capacities of the various body tissues. The computer then projects a single composite picture of a specific slice of the abdomen, chest or head on a screen. CTs can visualize internal organs impossible to see with ordinary X-rays.

64-slice computed tomography

Chesapeake Regional offers a 64-slice CT. Compared to conventional CT scanners, our state-of-the-art 64-slice CT scanners offer improved image quality and speed. The 64-slice computed tomography imaging enables physicians to obtain cross-sectional images of body tissues and organs and it can display a combination of soft tissue, bones and blood vessels in a single image.

Immunotherapy

Immunotherapy is also called biologic therapy. Its treatment uses certain parts of your body's immune system to fight cancer cells. This may be done by giving you immune system components, such as man-made proteins. It can be used by itself, but is most often used in conjunction with other treatments.   Immunotherapy may be performed using monoclonal antibodies, non-specific immunotherapies, and cancer vaccines. At Chesapeake Regional, we typically perform monoclonal antibodies procedures.

Stereotactic Radiosurgery

Stereotactic refers to a minimally invasive form of surgical intervention using a three dimensional coordinate system to precisely deliver radiation to targets inside the body. Stereotactic radiosurgery enables most patients to have less invasive surgery, avoid long hospital stays and greatly reduces their recovery time. Gamma Knife® and Synergy S® are treatment systems currently used at the Chesapeake, Riverside, University of Virginia Radiosurgery Center to root in precisely delivered beams of radiation rather than incisions. Procedures are nearly painless and patients recover much faster than with conventional surgery. Learn more here

 

Interventional Radiology

Interventional radiologists use imaging, like X-rays or MRIs, to see inside your body, pinpoint where the problem is and map out how to get there without surgery. Interventional radiologists then guide catheters through pathways in the body, or through the skin, to treat disease or tumors directly at the source. While no treatment is risk-free, the risks of interventional radiology procedures are far lower than the risks of open surgery.

Patient Care Team

At Chesapeake Regional, designated neurosurgery teams of nurses, surgical assistants, operating room technicians and anesthesiologists work to comprise own neurosurgical "dream team." The benefits of having a specialized neurosurgical operating room team are increased physician comfort and staff proficiency, less anesthesia time and less surgery time resulting in better outcomes for the patients. 

Learn more about about your Cancer Care Team.