Brain & Spine Cancer

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Brain & Spine Cancer

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Most Progressive Treatment Options

“Brain glioblastoma (cancer) may have slowed me down, but it hasn't stopped me.” After having 95% of a brain tumor removed, Marilyn underwent radiation and is now receiving chemotherapy.


“Overall I feel pretty good—I'm able to keep up with my grandchildren’s lives, go to the movies and belong to a senior club. I'm grateful that I can still enjoy life thanks to my team of physicians: Christopher Chow, MD, Internal Medicine; J. Gary Davidson, MD, Medical Director, Leavey Cancer Center; Wei Mi, MD, Neurologist; Afshin Safa, MD, Medical Director, Radiation Oncology; and Asher Taban, MD, Neurosurgeon.

They were understanding, compassionate, and I had complete confidence in them.”

Northridge Hospital Medical Center's team of brain cancer specialists treats patients with all types of primary brain and metastatic brain tumors. The spine oncology team uses a multidisciplinary approach for the treatment of spinal tumors. This allows neurosurgeons, orthopedic surgeons, radiation oncologists, medical physicists, neuroradiologists, physiatrists, neuro-oncologists, physical therapists, occupational therapists, and nurses to work together as they devise an individualized treatment plan for each patient.

Less than 10 percent of spine tumors originate in the spine. Most spine tumors have metastasized (spread) to the spine from cancers that began in other locations. Advanced imaging is used to diagnose and stage the cancer.

A biopsy of the tumor may also be necessary. Using a computed tomography (CT)-guided biopsy, a sample of tissue or fluid is removed through a fine needle using the CT as a guide. Treatment for these tumors usually involves a combination of interventional radiology, surgery and radiation therapy, followed by rehabilitation.

Molecular Diagnostic testing is available for brain tumor sites. Molecular profiling tests for a variety of biomarkers in the DNA of a tissue sample to help us better diagnose, stage and treat cancer on an individualized basis.

Surgical Options

Our surgical team is dedicated to providing our patients with a complete range of options best suited to their individual needs. Our cancer specialists are extraordinarily precise in removing the cancer while preserving as much normal tissue and function as possible.

Minimally-invasive surgery is a surgical approach to cancer treatment designed to minimize trauma, maximize outcomes and enable patients to quickly return to their normal everyday activities. Recent studies have shown that, for many cancers, patients have fewer complications if they have surgery at a hospital that performs high volumes of these operations and if the surgery is performed by a surgeon with expertise in the procedure.

Surgery is often the first step in treating tumors that can be removed without damaging the nerves or healthy tissue. Newer techniques and instruments, including laser surgery to break up the tumor, allow neurosurgeons to reach tumors that were once inaccessible.

Surgery is often performed on tumors that previously did not respond to radiation therapy.

  • Gamma Knife – As the gold standard in brain surgery, the Gamma Knife delivers safe, effective brain surgery without a single cut or even shaving the hair by focusing 201 beams of gamma radiation at the precise lesion or tumor in the brain.
  • Using the BrainLAB Image-guided surgery (IGS) technology with 3D and ultra-sound capabilities, the surgeon is
    able to conduct pre-operative planning and simulate the surgical procedure before the first incision is made. With dedicated computer-aided Surgery (CAS) Instrumentation and Fluoro to CT Registration, the technology offers support for a wide range of complex and minimally-invasive procedures in cervical, thoracic and lumbar spine surgery.
  • Trilogy© Linear Accelerator Stereotactic System for image-guided radiation therapy (IGRT) and stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) is the world's premier image-guided system that is capable of delivering all forms of external beam radiation, including Intensity Modulated Radiation Therapy (IMRT). It can treat cancer anywhere in the body by precisely targeting tumors and delivering a higher dose of radiation, resulting in fewer treatment sessions.
  • Two fully-integrated, state-of-the-art Spine Surgery Operating Suites are outfitted with: radiologic c-arm, cell savers, integrated intercom system for pathology, radiology or other consultation, wall-mounted imaging monitors, and PACS.
  • Surgical Microscope offers integrated support for intra-operative angiography and simultaneous integration with BrainLAB neuronavigation images.
  • • The Jackson Spinal Table Top provides the most advanced technology today for spinal surgery positioning.

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Northridge Hospital Medical Center
18300 Roscoe Blvd
Northridge, CA 91328
(818) 885-8500