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Brain or spinal cancer can refer to cancer that starts in the brain or spinal cord, or cancer that starts elsewhere in the body and eventually metastasizes (spreads) to the brain or spine through the bloodstream. If a tumor originates in the brain or spinal cord tissue, it is known as a primary brain tumor; if it originates elsewhere in the body and spreads to the brain, it is known as a metastatic brain or spinal tumor. The most common cancerous primary brain and spinal cord tumors are gliomas, and the most common glioma is called a glioblastoma.

Metastatic tumors are much more common than primary tumors. Cancers of the lungs, breasts and kidneys are especially likely to metastasize to the brain or spine. Approximately one out of every four cancer patients will eventually experience a brain or spinal metastasis. 

Our Approach 

At Moffitt Cancer Center, we provide advanced, multispecialty evaluation and treatment to patients with primary and metastatic brain and spinal cancers. Unlike other cancer centers, where brain and spinal cancer treatment may be just one small area of focus, our specialized Neuro-Oncology Program focuses exclusively on the treatment of cancer that involves the brain, skull base and spine.

Our oncologists have experience diagnosing and treating many different types of brain cancer, including:

Our team also specializes in the management of other brain-related conditions, including central nervous system (CNS) lymphoma, meningeal carcinoma and neurofibromatosis. 

Our multispecialty brain cancer team is made up of not only neurosurgeons, radiation oncologists and medical oncologists, but also highly specialized neurologists, neuroradiologists, neuropathologists and neuropsychologists, all of whom work together on a Neuro-Oncology tumor board to improve each patient’s prognosis and quality of life. Throughout the course of a patient’s treatment, the tumor board will evaluate the patient’s progress in light of the newest research findings to make evidence-based recommendations. 

At Moffitt, patients can access a complete range of brain and spinal cancer treatments, including neurosurgery, radiation therapy, chemotherapy, biological therapies and investigational therapies, all in one convenient location. Clinical trials, which allow patients to receive the most innovative therapies under the care of a dedicated treatment team, are also available at Moffitt.

Medically reviewed by Dr. Michael Vogelbaum, Program Leader, Department of Neuro-Oncology.

No referral is required to come to Moffitt Cancer Center. To schedule an appointment, call 1-888-663-3488 or fill out our new patient registration form.

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