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Serious Medicine. Extraordinary Care.

Services and Treatments

At The Brain and Spine Cancer Center, patients have access to a full team of experienced and internationally renowned specialists including neurosurgeons, oncologists and neuro-oncologists, radiation oncologists, midlevel providers, case managers, nutritionists, therapists, and social workers to provide patients a full-service, multidisciplinary approach to their care. The patient works with the group of specialists to develop a personal treatment plan. There is a multidisciplinary neuro-oncology tumor board which meets weekly. Working as a group and implementing this approach provides clear direction for patient treatment.

Diagnostics

We provide a full range of diagnostic capabilities including advanced neuroimaging and non-invasive mapping techniques and intra-operative integration of all imaging modalities.

Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) scan is done on internal body structures, such as the brain and spinal cord, for the purpose of helping to make a diagnosis or follow treatment. An MRI machine uses a large magnet and a computer to look inside the body to evaluate various body parts by producing special images.

A Computerized Tomography (CT) scan obtains multiple cross-sectional images of a body or head by using special X-rays and computer enhancement. It creates an image many times more sensitive and complex than the image from a simple X-ray.

A Positron Emission Tomography (PET) scan is used to detect tumors in the tissues and organs of your body. A PET scan can often find changes in the body’s tissues before changes can be seen in their structure or anatomy. It can be useful to help find a tumor or to determine if something is cancer.

The magnetoencephalograph (MEG) scan provides doctors the ability to look inside the brain with greater precision that has never before been possible, giving patients needing brain surgery the assurance of a safer and more effective procedure. MEG can be used to map out brain regions responsible for critical brain functions, such as movement, sensation, vision and language. This is particularly helpful in brain tumor surgery, where the goal is to remove as much abnormal tissue as possible, while sparing the areas responsible for normal brain function.

An electroencephalogram (EEG) is a test that measures and records the electrical activity of the brain.

A neuropsychological assessment may be requested by a doctor to provide an understanding of how a tumor may be affecting brain function and to provide a baseline against which future changes in cognitive, behavioral and emotional functioning can be compared. A clinical neuropsychologist evaluates memory and thinking using paper and pencil and computerized tests that are sensitive to the functions of the brain.

Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI) is a specialized MRI scan which measures the change in blood flow in the brain. This allows physicians to see where areas in the brain are activated during a particular function such as movement or speech or vision.

Diffusion Tensor Imaging (DTI) is used to measure restricted diffusion of water through tissue. This test is mainly used when imaging the white matter of the brain. This allows physicians to see where important white matter tracts are which are involved with brain functions.

MR Perfusion looks at the blood flow intensity in tissue to help determine if something is a tumor versus treatment effects. This can also sometimes be helpful in diagnosing new lesions in the brain.

MR Spectroscopy measures the chemical profile in a chosen area of a lesion or the brain. The different profiles can help indicate if something is a tumor or not.

Surgical Therapies

  • Primary and metastatic brain tumors
  • Advanced mapping techniques with image guidance and ultrasound integration to identify and protect eloquent areas
  • Skull base tumors
  • Primary and metastatic spinal tumors
  • Spinal cord tumors

Non-Surgical Therapies

  • Standard and experimental chemotherapies
  • Radiation therapy and stereotactic radiosurgery for brain and spinal tumors

Clinical Trials

As the primary teaching hospital for the University of Nebraska Medical Center, patients at The Nebraska Medical Center’s Brain and Spine Cancer Center benefit tremendously from research, clinical trials and innovative discoveries. Clinical trials allow patients to be some of the first to receive the safest, most up-to-date and sometimes revolutionary treatments. View available clinical trials.