Skull Base Tumor Center

Pituitary Tumor and Neuroendocrine Program

To learn more about the Pituitary Tumor and Neuroendocrine Program at the Brain and Spine Tumor Center, expand a section below.

What Are Pituitary Adenomas?

Pituitary adenomas are common benign intracranial tumors of the pituitary gland, which is located in the sella turcica at the base of the skull. These tumors may secrete hormones that cause endocrinological symptoms such as weight gain, fertility issues, and diabetes, or they may cause local symptoms by compressing the optic apparatus, leading to visual decline. 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 pituitary tumor and neuroendocrine program at the Rhode Island Hospital combines extensive experience and technical expertise in the multidisciplinary treatment of these tumors. The program team, led by Curtis Doberstein, MD, includes endocrinologists and otolaryngologists who have expertise in treating these tumors.

Treatment Options

Surgery is often the first-line treatment for patients with pituitary adenomas. We utilize advanced intraoperative technology to ensure maximal tumor resection and safe surgery. This includes frameless stereotactic navigation and endoscopy to help with tumor resection. In some cases, radiation therapy, including Gamma Knife, CyberKnife, and intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) are often used as adjuncts to or instead of surgery for selected tumors. In other cases, hormone antagonists prescribed by the endocrinologist are effective in managing the hormone abnormalities without surgery.

Treatment Team

Our team of neurosurgeons, otolaryngologists, radiation oncologists, and endocrinologists work together in multidisciplinary clinics and tumor boards to ensure an optimal treatment outcome. Our neurosurgery team includes Curtis Doberstein, MD; Steven Toms, MD; and Deus Cielo, MD.

Acoustic Neuroma Program

To learn more about the Acoustic Neuroma Program at the Brain and Spine Tumor Center, expand a section below.

What Are Acoustic Neuromas?

Acoustic neuromas are common benign intracranial tumors of the balance nerves of the skull base. The tumor most commonly occupies the cerebellopontine angle between the brain stem and the hearing organs of the temporal bone. The tumors typically cause symptoms by compressing adjacent cranial nerves, leading to hearing loss, tinnitus, or balance issues. They are typically treated with a combination of surgery and radiation therapy. The acoustic neuroma program at Rhode Island Hospital combines extensive experience and technical expertise in the multidisciplinary treatment of these tumors. The program team, led by Curtis Doberstein, MD, includes otolaryngologists with expertise in treating these tumors.

Treatment Options

Observation, radiation therapy, and surgery are all treatment options for patients with acoustic neuromas. We utilize advanced intraoperative technology to ensure maximal tumor resection and safe surgery. This includes frameless stereotactic navigation and neurophysiological monitoring to help with tumor resection. In some cases, radiation therapy, including Gamma Knife, CyberKnife and intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) are often used in place of, or as adjuncts to, surgery for these tumors. 

Treatment Team

Our team of neurosurgeons, otolaryngologists, and radiation oncologists work together in multidisciplinary clinics and tumor boards to ensure an optimal treatment outcome. Our neurosurgery team includes Curtis Doberstein, MD; Steven Toms, MD; and Deus Cielo, MD.

Skull Base Chordoma Program

To learn more about the Skull Base Chordoma Program at the Brain and Spine Tumor Center, expand a section below. 

What Are Skull Base Chordomas?

Skull base chordomas are uncommon malignant intracranial tumors of the bone of the skull base. The tumor most commonly occupies the clivus adjacent to the pituitary gland. The tumors may cause symptoms by compressing the optic apparatus or cranial nerves, leading to double vision or visual decline. They are typically treated with a combination of surgery and radiation therapy. The skull base chordoma program at Rhode Island Hospital combines extensive experience and technical expertise in the multidisciplinary treatment of these tumors. The program team, led by Curtis Doberstein, MD, includes endocrinologists and otolaryngologists who have expertise in treating these tumors.

Treatment Options

Surgery is often the first-line treatment option in patients with skull base chordomas. We utilize advanced intraoperative technology to ensure maximal tumor resection and safe surgery. This includes frameless stereotactic navigation and endoscopy to help with tumor resection. In some cases, radiation therapy, including Gamma Knife, CyberKnife and intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) are often used as adjuncts to surgery for these tumors. 

Treatment Team

Our team of neurosurgeons, otolaryngologists, radiation oncologists, and endocrinologists work together in multidisciplinary clinics and tumor boards to ensure an optimal treatment outcome. Our neurosurgery team includes Curtis Doberstein, MD; Steven Toms, MD; and Deus Cielo, MD.

Learn more about the Brain and Spine Tumor center at Lifespan