Brain Tumor Program tests and treatments

Cutting-edge diagnostic tests include:

  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), a radiation-free type of imaging method, allows doctors to see a very detailed picture of the brain.
  • Diffusion tensor imaging is a powerful imaging technique doctors use to see nerve connections in the brain without using radiation. Results from this test help to evaluate different types of tumors and plan for surgery.
  • Magnetic resonance perfusion is an imaging technique that doctors use to see the flow and volume of blood going to the brain. This technique helps us diagnose certain types of tumors.
  • Functional MRI is a technique that allows doctors to see a very detailed picture of how a patient's brain works. Results from this test are important because they help the neurosurgeon make sure important areas of brain aren't damaged during surgery.
  • Magnetic resonance spectroscopy is a tool that allows doctors to understand the chemical composition of lesions in the brain. This information is helpful in diagnosing certain types of tumors.
  • Pediatric stroke imaging combines several imaging processes: MRI, magnetic resonance angiography and magnetic resonance venography. None of these methods use radiation and help doctors find and understand strokes in children.

Radiation therapy includes:

  • 3-D conformal radiation uses multiple beams of radiation to treat brain tumors. A computerized image of the patient's brain allows doctors to specifically target the tumor.
  • Gamma knife therapy is advanced technology that uses more than 200 focused beams of high-dose radiation for very precise treatment of brain tumors.
  • Image-guided radiation uses many different imaging techniques together to help locate a tumor before the actual treatment.
  • Intensity-modulated radiation uses multiple parts of radiation beams, which allows for a higher dose of radiation to the tumor while protecting the healthy brain tissue around it.