Whether you are recently diagnosed with a glioblastoma or primary brain tumor or are seeking a second opinion, the experts at the Preston Robert Tisch Brain Tumor Center stand ready to help you fight it. Compared with other brain tumor centers in the world, we:
- Conduct more groundbreaking research
- Have more active clinical trials
- See more people with brain tumors and brain cancer
- Have more experience with more types of brain tumors
- Provide more innovative treatments
We take an aggressive, team approach to your care. Our goal is to detect and treat brain tumors, and ultimately to provide long-term survival to our patients.
We conduct a series of comprehensive tests to properly diagnose your brain tumor and develop your customized treatment plan. Most tests can be performed on the same day.
This exam assesses your hearing (auditory brainstem response, or ABR), balance, strength, coordination, reflexes, vision, swallowing, and ability to think and remember.
CT, MRI, PET, Angiography
These tests create images that help detect and diagnose your type of brain tumor.
A small sample of the tumor may be removed to refine your diagnosis.
Duke Health offers locations throughout the Triangle. Find one near you.
A surgeon may be able to remove your brain tumor by performing a craniotomy. During the procedure, a small portion of bone is removed to create a temporary opening in the skull. After the surgeon removes the tumor, the bone segment is replaced.
Some people may be eligible for less-invasive options, like laser interstitial thermal therapy (LITT) or surgery using a Brain Path device. This operation requires a very small incision, which reduces bleeding, recovery time, and risk. You may even be able to go home from the hospital the day after surgery.
Our surgeons are experienced in removing primary brain tumors and are often able to operate on people who were told their condition was not operable. Surgery may be performed alone or in combination with radiation therapy.
Image-guided radiation therapy targets a cancerous tumor while preserving your healthy brain tissue. Our radiation oncologists use MRI, CT, and other imaging scans to find the precise location of the tumor and focus X-rays directly on it. Stereotactic radiosurgery uses 3-D imaging to target and deliver a focused, high-dose of radiation to a well-defined tumor in a short amount of time.
Oral drugs or injections may be used to kill additional cancer cells after surgery and radiation therapy, especially for aggressive tumors. Chemotherapy may also be combined with targeted therapies, such as Avastin, to battle malignant brain tumors called gliomas.
Doctors use your immune system to fight malignant brain tumor cells while sparing healthy brain cells.
Genetically Engineered Cancer Vaccines
Cancer-fighting viruses, some co-developed at Duke, target and kill cancer cells, leaving normal cells with the ability to grow. You may be eligible for studies that use vaccines to treat brain tumors through our clinical trials.
Patients who want to begin the screening process or their referring physicians can contact us by phone or by filling out an online form.
Why Choose Duke
Experience with All Types of Brain Tumors
Our brain tumor specialists treat approximately 3,800 patients each year; about 900 of these are new patients. We treat all types of brain tumors, including meningiomas and other benign brain tumors, and develop a personalized approach to each patient's care.
Consult with Our Brain Tumor Specialists
Unlike at many other centers, you’ll speak to our brain cancer specialists first to determine which tests you need and decide the next steps for your care. Our nationally ranked cancer center has been designated a Comprehensive Cancer Center by the National Cancer Institute.
Qualified Care Team
Our board-certified brain tumor specialists -- medical, radiation, and surgical oncologists; experts in neurosurgery and neurology; radiologists; and pathologists -- as well as geneticists, specially trained nurse practitioners and physician assistants, nutritionists, and social workers meet regularly to discuss each individual case. They share their knowledge and offer coordinated and advanced surgical, medical, and follow-up care.
Your Main Point of Contact
A nurse navigator will be your main point of contact throughout your treatment and recovery. They address any questions or concerns about your initial evaluation, surgical procedures, financial obligations, emotional needs, and dietary requirements.
Support for You and Your Family
Our comprehensive cancer support services range from helping you minimize the side effects of treatment to coping with the emotional and psychological effects of diagnosis and treatment.
The Preston Robert Tisch Brain Tumor Center's robust research program is dedicated to finding better outcomes for brain tumors. We co-developed a vaccine that extends the lives of people with glioblastoma and played a pivotal role in the introduction of Avastin in the treatment of brain tumors. We continue to explore ways to selectively target tumors, tame fast-growing and drug-resistant tumors, and design new therapies to destroy cancer. Our researchers are also studying ways to manipulate the genes and proteins that fuel tumor growth.
Latest OR Technology
The use of intra-operative MRI (iMRI) in the operating room allows neurosurgeons access to MRI images while the patient is still in surgery. This confirms that all or as much of the tumor as possible is removed. It also reduces the time and number of procedures required.
Where you receive your cancer care is important. Duke University Hospital is proud of our team and the exceptional care they provide. They are why our cancer program is nationally ranked, and the highest ranked program in North Carolina, according to U.S. News & World Report for 2020–2021.