Glioblastoma and Other Primary Brain Cancers

New Patient Appointment 855-855-6484

Whether you are recently diagnosed with a glioblastoma or another primary brain tumor or are seeking a second opinion, the experts at the Preston Robert Tisch Brain Tumor Center are ready to help you fight it. Compared with many 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 allow long-term survival for our patients.

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About Primary Brain Tumors

Primary brain tumors are those that begin in the brain. These can be non-cancerous (benign) or cancerous (malignant). Sometimes cancerous tumors can spread to the brain from another part of the body -- these are called secondary or metastatic brain tumors and often require a different treatment approach.

Types of Primary Brain Tumors We Treat 
We treat all types of primary brain tumors, including these most common types:

  • Glioblastomas
  • Astrocytomas
  • Embryonal tumors
  • Ependymal tumors / Ependymomas
  • Lymphomas
  • Meningiomas
  • Nerve sheath tumors
  • Oligoastrocytic tumors / Oligoastrocytomas
  • Oligodendrogliomas
  • Pituitary tumors
Our Locations

Duke Health offers locations throughout the Triangle. Find one near you.


We conduct a series of comprehensive tests to properly diagnose your primary brain tumor and develop a customized treatment plan. Most tests can be performed on the same day.

Neurological Exam
This exam assesses your speech, hearing, balance, strength, sensation, coordination, reflexes, vision, swallowing, and ability to think and remember.

Head or Brain 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 and determine its grade (which indicates how quickly it’s growing).

Make an Appointment

If you want to begin the screening process, please contact us or ask your referring physicians to contact us by phone at 855-855-6484 or by filling out this form. If you're a returning patient (you have been seen by a Duke provider for a brain tumor within the last three years), please call 919-668-6688 to schedule a return visit.


A neurosurgeon may be able to remove your brain tumor by performing a craniotomy surgery. During this procedure, a small portion of bone is removed to create a temporary opening in the skull. After the neurosurgeon removes the tumor, the bone segment is replaced. 

Our surgeons are experienced in removing primary brain tumors and can often operate on people who were told their condition was inoperable. They may also be able to remove additional portions of tumors in people who underwent surgery at another hospital. Surgery may be performed alone or in combination with radiation therapy. 

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 3D 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 can kill additional cancer cells -- especially for aggressive tumors -- after surgery and radiation therapy. Chemotherapy may also be combined with targeted therapies to battle malignant brain tumors.

New immunotherapies -- including viruses, immunotoxins, vaccines, and others -- that target and kill tumor cells and/or generate an immune response against brain tumors were co-developed at Duke. As a Duke patient, you may be eligible to participate in clinical trials evaluating innovative therapies like these to treat brain tumors.

Laser Interstitial Thermal Therapy (LITT)
Some people may be eligible for LITT -- a minimally invasive surgical technique that requires a very small incision in the skull. Compared to a traditional craniotomy, this reduces bleeding, recovery time, and risk.

Supportive Care
We care about your overall health and quality of life while undergoing treatment for a brain tumor. Our team helps manage medications, control seizures, evaluate and manage mood-related issues, and address side effects from chemotherapy and radiation therapy.

Best Cancer Hospital in North Carolina

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 2024–2025.

Why Choose Duke

Experience with All Types of Brain Tumors
Our brain tumor specialists treat approximately 6,900 people each year; about 900 of these are new patients. We treat all types of brain tumors, including malignant brain tumors, meningiomas, and other benign brain tumors. We take a personalized approach to each person’s care.

Recognized for Excellence
Our brain cancer specialists will work with you to determine which tests you need and decide on next steps for your care. Our nationally ranked cancer center has been designated as a Comprehensive Cancer Center by the National Cancer Institute. This recognizes Duke’s high care standards and continuing research to prevent, diagnose, and treat cancer.

Qualified Care Team
Our board-certified brain tumor specialists -- medical, radiation, and surgical oncologists; experts in neurosurgeryneurology, and neuro-oncology; radiologists; pathologists; geneticists; specially trained nurse practitioners and physician assistants; neuropsychologists; nutritionists; and social workers -- meet regularly to discuss each person’s case. We share knowledge and coordinate advanced surgical, medical, and follow-up care.

One Point of Contact
A dedicated nurse coordinator will be your main contact throughout your treatment and recovery. They can 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.

Research Leaders
The Preston Robert Tisch Brain Tumor Center's robust research program is dedicated to improving outcomes for brain tumors. We helped develop multiple “vaccines” for people with brain tumors, including a genetically engineered poliovirus that fights cancer. We also played a pivotal role in introducing the drug Bevacizumab to treat 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 gives neurosurgeons access to MRI images while patient are still in surgery. This helps confirm removal of all or as much of the tumor as possible. It also reduces the time and number of procedures required.

Remote, Written Second Opinions 
Get a written second opinion from a Duke Health specialist from the comfort of your home. A second opinion can confirm a diagnosis, offer a different diagnosis, provide information about the most advanced treatments available, and lend confidence to your treatment decisions. Learn more about our remote second opinion platform and process.