CNS cancers are treated through an interdisciplinary clinic. This means rather than visiting a multitude of doctors, the team of doctors responsible for your cancer treatment visit you in one room. This may include neurosurgeons, medical oncologists, or radiation oncologists. Other physicians, such as specialists of the eye (neurophthalmologists) and nerves (neurologists) may be consulted if needed. The doctors will go over your cancer stage with you, and what the best treatment is for your cancer type.
Surgery may be performed to take a sample from the tumor, remove the tumor, or relieve fluid pressure build-up.
Chemotherapy is used to help reduce or stabilize the tumor and is prescribed and monitored by your medical oncologist (not a radiation oncologist). Chemotherapy is commonly administered in the Holden Comprehensive Cancer Center.
Radiation therapy may be administered as fractionated daily therapy or as a single dose radiosurgery.
Fractionated daily radiotherapy is small doses of radiation over a number of weeks. Radiosurgery involves one larger dose of radiation targeted specifically to the tumor site. Your radiation oncologist, working with the other doctors on your cancer treatment team, will decide the type of radiation therapy best for you.
At University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, there is a specialized expertise in stereotactic radiation therapy and radiosurgery. This reduces the amount of normal, healthy tissue treated. Multiple types of imaging, including MR and CT, is our standard practice to plan for these treatments. During your treatments, regardless of the type, you will see your radiation oncologist to monitor your progress and treatment. The therapists and nurses will also monitor you closely to make sure you don't have any reactions to treatment.
Information on central nervous system cancers and their treatments through the Holden Cancer Center's Cancer Information Service.
For further information or to schedule an appointment, please call 319-356-2253.