Brain Tumor Center
To learn more about the Meningioma Program at the Brain and Spine Tumor Center, expand a section below.
What Are Meningiomas?
Meningiomas are the most common benign intracranial tumors of the brain. They arise from the outer membranes of the brain and spine and typically grow slowly, causing symptoms by compression of brain tissues or nerves, or by inciting seizures. They are typically benign tumors and most commonly treated with observation, radiation therapy, or surgery, depending upon the size, location, and patient’s symptoms. The meningioma program at Rhode Island Hospital combines extensive experience and technical expertise in the multidisciplinary treatment of these tumors.
Meningiomas may be difficult to diagnose because they grow slowly, and symptoms can be different depending on the tumor’s location and effect on the brain. If a meningioma is suspected, diagnosis begins with a neurological examination. Problems with vision, speaking, hearing, or movement may indicate a meningioma and provide information on the location and size of the tumor. Imaging tests follow the initial examination, and may include magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), computed tomography (CT), or positron emission tomography (PET).
Surgery is often the first-line treatment option in patients with intracranial meningiomas. We utilize advanced intraoperative technology to ensure maximal tumor resection and safe surgery. This includes frameless stereotactic navigation, intraoperative neurophysiological monitoring and endoscopy to help with tumor resection. In some cases, radiation therapy, including Gamma Knife, CyberKnife and intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT), are used as adjuncts to or instead of surgery for selected tumors.
Treatment options depend on the age and general health of the patient, the symptoms experienced, and the location of the tumor. Because most meningiomas are not malignant and grow slowly, immediate treatment may not be necessary. If the tumor is not causing serious symptoms, the physician may recommend monitoring.
However, if the tumor is causing serious symptoms or may potentially damage brain tissue, surgery is usually the best treatment. The meningioma is often self-contained and grows outside the brain in the membranes (meninges) that surround the brain, where it can be completely removed. In some cases, surgery may be followed by radiation therapy to ensure that all tumor cells are removed to lessen the chances that the meningioma may reoccur.
Meningioma Program Treatment Team
To learn more about the Glioma Program at the Brain and Spine Tumor Center, expand a section below.
What Are Gliomas?
Gliomas are malignant tumors of the brain’s supportive tissue (glial cells), which protects nerve cells. Most primary, malignant brain tumors (about 80 percent) are gliomas. They are very difficult to treat because they grow into normal brain tissue. Astrocytomas, glioblastomas, oligodendrogliomas, and ependymomas are all types of gliomas.
If a brain tumor is suspected, diagnosis begins with a neurological examination. Problems with vision, speaking, hearing, or movement may indicate a brain tumor and provide information on the location and size of the tumor. Imaging tests follow the initial examination, and may include magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), computed tomography (CT), or positron emission tomography (PET).
Treatment planning depends on the age and general health of the patient, and the symptoms, grade, size and location of the tumor. Surgery is often an initial treatment for a glioma, to remove as much of the tumor as possible and to relieve pressure on the brain. A biopsy is also done to confirm the diagnosis and allow for treatment planning. Surgery is frequently followed by radiation therapies and chemotherapy.