Overview of the Neuro-oncology Program 

The Neuro-oncology Program at Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi’s Neurological Institute serves patients from across the country and around the world, providing state-of-the-art care to individuals who suffer from neurological cancers.

The skilled specialists at the Neuro-oncology Program, working in collaboration with specialists from other Institutes, offer a full range of advanced treatment options for adults with brain, pituitary, skull base, and spinal cord tumors. Every patient who comes to the program receives Patients First care throughout diagnosis and treatment, which may include surgery, chemotherapy, and innovative, advanced approaches to tumor treatment.

Led by experts in the field, the interdisciplinary program provides an optimized and individualized approach to each patient’s condition. Endocrinologists, neuro-radiologists, interventional neuro-radiologists, neuro-rehabilitation specialists, orbital ophthalmologists, and ENTs (ear, nose, and throat) specialists work hand-in-hand to establish a treatment plan for the best outcome of every patient.

What we treat

The Neuro-oncology Program diagnoses and treats patients with a range of neurological cancers:

  • Primary brain tumors: initially develop in the brain tissue or the areas surrounding the brain (the meninges).
  • Secondary brain tumors: Secondary, or metastatic, brain tumors begin with cancer cells from a tumor in another part of the body, such as the breast or lung, that travel to the brain through the blood¬stream. Secondary brain tumors are more common than primary brain tumors, and occur more often in adults than in children.
  • Skull base tumors: Skull base tumors form in the area between the brain and the rest of the head. The principle goal of skull base surgery is to permit access to difficult-to-reach tumor locations while minimizing injury to the brain, cranial nerves, and blood vessels. Surgery on skull base tumors combines highly specialized techniques of interventional neuroradiology, otolaryngology, neurosurgery, ophthalmology, plastic surgery, and neuro-anesthesiology. 
  • Pituitary tumors: Pituitary tumors are responsible for the majority of hormone imbalances involving hormones made or controlled by the pituitary gland.
  • Spinal cord and spine tumors: Spinal cord and spine tumors can occur anywhere along the length of the spinal column. The Neuro-oncology Program team treats spinal cord tumors with ultrasound, microsurgery, and fluorescence imaging guidance to help restore functional mobility and relieve pain. Because neuro-rehabilitation is an integral part of treating spinal cord tumors and the patient’s recovery, program caregivers work in close collaboration with experts in the Neurological Institute’s Neuro-rehabilitation Program

Diagnosis & treatment of neurological cancers

Diagnosis of neurological cancers

Neurological cancer diagnosis may be established through imaging testing and, in some cases, tumor biopsy. Tumor biopsy involves removing and testing a small sample of tumor tissue. The neuropathologist examines this sample to confirm the diagnosis and classify the tumor more specifically, according to the cell type it contains. This examinations helps to ensure that further treatment is planned appropriately.

Treatment of neurological cancers

The Neuro-oncology Program’s highly trained neurosurgeons use the latest neurosurgical techniques to ensure a precise and well-planned approach to the tumor for biopsy and tumor resection, or removal. Technological tools like intra-operative neuromonitoring, brain mapping, ultrasound-guided biopsy, and fluorescence-guided surgery assist the team in achieving the ultimate goal of removing the tumor while preserving quality of life for the patient. 

Neuro-oncology Program caregivers 

The Neuro-oncology Program is a multidisciplinary collaboration of leaders in the field. The program’s neurosurgenos are trained in surgery of the nervous system, with special expertise in surgical diagnosis and treatment of brain and spine tumors. The medical oncologist contributes specialized knowledge in the use of medical therapy, or chemotherapy, to treat cancer and other tumors. The endocrinologist treats hormonal imbalances that can result from surgery, medication, or tumor growth, like in the case of pituitary tumors. The care team also includes a pain physician, who manages the treatment of pain related to cancer and surgery and assures that pain is not a factor that reduces quality of life after treatment.

Caregivers involved in patient care for this program are:

  • Neurosurgeons
  • Oncologists
  • Endocrinologists
  • Pain physicians ​


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