Brain and Spine Cancers
The only comprehensive neuro-oncology center in New Jersey, our Brain Tumor Program is led by fellowship-trained neuro-oncologists who are among just 280 physicians nationwide with expert training in this specialized area of medicine, enabling you to receive the highest level of expertise and the latest, most advanced treatment options available without the stress of traveling to major metropolitan areas like New York City and Philadelphia.
Quality of life is an important consideration in every aspect of our approach during and after treatment. Our specialists are here to help you and your loved ones navigate this complex journey and always put your needs and personal preferences first.
Treating the disease is only one facet of patient care at the Hackensack Meridian Health Brain Tumor Program. We also provide a wide range of specialists and services to help patients and families cope with the challenges of battling a serious illness, including support groups and nurse navigators to help coordinate each patient’s journey through the treatment process.
Brain Tumor Treatment Options
We use advanced imaging technologies not readily available at many hospitals, enabling us to locate and identify tumors and match patients with treatments tailored to the biology of their disease.
Our collaborative treatment model pools the expertise of specialists from multiple disciplines to customize a plan of care that meets your unique needs. This interdisciplinary team draws from the latest breakthroughs in medical technology, research and treatments and includes experts from a broad range of specialized fields, including neurosurgery, neuroradiology, radiation oncology, neuropsychiatry, radiation physics, neuro-ophthalmologic otoneurology, physical rehabilitation medicine, adult and pediatric critical care specialists, nursing and support services.
Virtual Reality Imaging
We were the first in New Jersey to integrate a virtual reality medical visualization platform into the care of patients who will be having neurosurgery. Patients’ medical images (such as MRI and CT scans) are uploaded to the surgical system so the surgeon can “run through” the operation wearing a special virtual reality headset. This approach enables our surgeons to prepare for an operation in advance of any incisions being made, providing information on what to expect when the actual procedure takes place.
Integrated Neuro-Rehabilitation ServicesWe provide comprehensive inpatient and outpatient neurological rehabilitation services to help patients regain function, mobility and quality of life. Our expert physical, occupational, and speech therapists work closely with the patient’s entire care team to decrease the burden of disease and help patients return to their normal activities as soon as possible.
Our physicians are experts in diseases and disorders of the nervous system, pioneering advancements in brain, spine, neck and peripheral nerve care. Our internationally recognized multidisciplinary team of specialists is assembled from around the country — a distinctive strength that enables the Brain Tumor and Rehabilitation Center to determine effective strategies to detect, diagnose and treat tumors.
Our Brain Tumor Treatment Keeps Getting Better
Caring for patients with brain tumors is complex and requires the expertise of doctors from multiple areas of medicine. Our comprehensive brain cancer program and specialized team provide customized therapies for people with primary or metastatic brain tumors, as well as care for the various neurologic complications that can occur with cancer.
Our goal is to offer you new options and hope. Here are some of the many reasons to trust us for your care:
- Excellence: Our Brain Tumor Program is led by fellowship-trained neuro-oncologists who are among just 280 physicians nationwide with expert training in this specialized area of medicine.
- Quality: U.S. News and World Report has ranked the neurosurgery program at Hackensack University Medical Center as a high-performing program.
- Technology: John Theurer Cancer Center was the first in New Jersey to offer stereotactic radiosurgery for inoperable brain tumors and other brain lesions using the newest and most advanced radiosurgical device—The Leksell Gamma Knife Perfexion® system.
- 3T MRI allows our board-certified radiologists to differentiate between benign and serious conditions with confidence, enabling earlier diagnosis and treatment.
- Functional and Diffusion Tensor Imaging MRI scans delineate critical areas of function and their relationship to the tumor, which helps the surgeon plan the surgery.
- MR spectroscopy helps distinguish between tumor and non-tumor lesions of the brain.
- PET imaging also helps distinguish between tumor and non-tumor lesions of the brain.
We study your tumor to identify genetic mutations and learn about the molecular signals involved in your cancer’s growth. We use the results to match you with targeted therapies, ensuring you receive the therapy that is best suited for the biology of your cancer.
- 3-D Conformal Radiation Therapy
- CyberKnife® is a painless, noninvasive robotic radiosurgery system that targets difficult-to-reach or inoperable tumors, without an incision or use of a scalpel.
- Four-Dimensional Computed Tomography (4DCT) is a highly precise and accurate imaging technology that captures the exact location of a tumor and records its size and movement related to other parts of the body.
- Gamma Knife stereotactic radiosurgery brings together multiple radiation beams from different angles with pinpoint precision to destroy a tumor. This form of stereotactic radiosurgery.
- High-Dose Rate Brachytherapy
- Intensity-Modulated Radiation Therapy (IMRT) delivers radiation at a 360 degree angle, allowing higher doses of radiation with more accuracy and control, and less risk of harming surrounding tissue.
- TrueBeam™ Linear Accelerator is an advanced image-guided radiation therapy (IGRT) system used to treat cancer with speed and accuracy while avoiding healthy tissues and organs.
- Magnetic resonance (MR)-guided “laser interstitial thermal therapy,” delivers extreme through a thermal probe to kill brain tumors.
- Neurophysiological mapping helps neurosurgeons pinpoint which tumor tissue can be safely removed by stimulating those parts of the brain during surgery, and operating around functional areas once they are identified.
- Real-time MR imaging allows the surgeon to see where tumor tissue has died.
"They detected my brain tumors at an early stage and were able to treat them immediately using Gamma Knife radiosurgery, which doesn’t involve cutting into the brain. I walked out of the hospital the same day, straight to the parking lot. I even would have driven home, but my wife insisted on driving." - Roy Meyers
Why Choose Hackensack Meridian Health
The Memorial Sloan Kettering–Hackensack Meridian Health partnership brings together two world-class organizations with deep New Jersey roots and a single goal: Find more cures faster.
Our head/neck surgeons are certified to perform transoral robotic surgery (TORS). Our Robotic Center of Excellence is one of the largest robotic surgery programs, with the highest volume of minimally invasive cancer procedures in New Jersey.