Teamwork, experience and technology

Doctors who specialize in treating brain tumors discuss a scan.

A Mayo Clinic surgeon and radiation oncologist discuss radiation therapy for someone with brain metastases.

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The Mayo Clinic Brain Tumor Program — available at the clinic's campuses in Arizona, Florida and Minnesota — offers personalized, comprehensive, expert care to people with brain tumors. If you have a serious, complex or rare brain tumor condition, such as glioma, meningioma, pituitary tumors, skull base tumors or brain metastases, you'll find exactly the care you need here. Your care team is dedicated to matching you with the medical or surgical team that best fits your unique situation. This includes helping to select which clinic location is the most convenient.

The Mayo Clinic Brain Tumor Program brings together teamwork, experience and innovative technologies to achieve the best outcome possible for you. Your care team is made up of specialists who work together to develop an individualized treatment plan.

At its campus in Minnesota, the clinic provides expert care for children with brain tumors. Pediatric neuro-oncologists work with a team of specialists to diagnose and treat pediatric brain tumors and provide children with the personalized treatment they require.

Living with Brain Tumors

A team approach, focused on you

Glioma teamwork at Mayo Clinic

Your Mayo Clinic brain tumor team may include specialists from neuro-oncology, neurosurgery, neuro-ophthalmology, neuropathology, neuroradiology, radiation oncology, medical oncology, endocrinology, otorhinolaryngology/head and neck surgery, and other areas as needed.

Having all this expertise in a single place, focused on you, means that you're not just getting one opinion. Your care is discussed among team members, your test results are available quickly and appointment schedules are coordinated. The most highly specialized experts in the world are working with you. What might take weeks or even months to accomplish elsewhere can typically be done in a matter of days at Mayo Clinic.

You also have access to supportive therapy during and after brain tumor treatment to help you feel better. These services include integrative medicine, palliative care, rehabilitation, psychotherapy and support groups. Talk with your doctor about these options and how they might help you live with the physical and emotional side effects of brain tumor treatment.

The right brain tumor care, the first time

Your expert care team is committed to making sure you receive the right care the first time. Successful treatment starts with an accurate diagnosis. You may undergo several tests so that your doctors can identify exactly what's causing your signs and symptoms and determine the best treatment for you. Whether surgery is an option depends on the location of the tumor, how fast it's growing, how it's entwined with healthy tissue, and how likely you are to respond to other therapies, such as radiation or medication.

Mayo Clinic's brain tumor teams use innovative and advanced imaging technologies and tools, including high-powered (7-tesla) magnetic resonance imaging, PET scanning and molecular diagnostics, a type of genetic testing. Molecular diagnostics is an individualized medicine approach that analyzes the DNA of a tumor. This testing helps doctors predict which treatment options will work on specific brain tumor types.

Precision treatment options include targeted drug therapy, intensity-modulated radiation therapy, lasers, computer-assisted brain surgery, stereotactic radiosurgery and proton therapy. Proton therapy delivers targeted doses of radiation to tumors while sparing healthy tissue and reducing the risk of side effects.

Mayo Clinic is one of the few centers in the country to offer awake brain surgery. This procedure helps certain people who have been told they have an inoperable brain tumor. People who have a brain tumor removed with this advanced approach often experience reduced hospital stays, a lower expected mortality rate and shorter recovery times. Many people who undergo brain tumor surgery at Mayo Clinic leave the hospital in one or two days.

Research: Innovation to treatment faster

A neurosurgeon focuses on removing a brain tumor.

Mayo Clinic brain tumor surgeons use the most advanced techniques.

Our brain tumor physicians and scientists are committed to researching innovative diagnostic and treatment options that improve people's lives. Research avenues include laboratory studies, mathematical modeling and clinical trials. People whose brain tumors haven't responded to treatment may be eligible for clinical trials that are testing new approaches.

One of the many new tools developed by Mayo Clinic doctors is now widely used to help people with brain tumors. It's called magnetic resonance elastography (MRE) and slip interface imaging, which provides doctors with vital information about the firmness and adhesion of brain tumors. This information affects their choice of surgical approach and timing, which in turn may reduce the risk of complications and the need for follow-up surgeries.

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Jan. 05, 2024