BJC and Saint Luke’s Officially Combine as BJC Health System

Why choose us for brain tumor treatment?

BJC HealthCare works with Washington University physicians, BJC Medical Group, and providers across the region to deliver extraordinary care. Our centers have international reputations for brain tumor treatment. Trust our track record of excellence to help improve your quality of life. From smaller incisions and shorter recovery times to advanced imaging techniques, our brain tumor patients benefit from our deep experience.

We offer:

  • Recognized expertise: The Siteman Cancer Center is the only National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center in Missouri. We rank among the top cancer facilities in the nation with U.S. News & World Report.

  • Research focus: Our researchers’ efforts lead directly to advancements in brain and spinal tumor treatment. We develop new therapies and offer you access to clinical trials. 

  • Team-based care: Our team of oncologists, neurosurgeons and other experts work together to come up with the most effective care plan for you. You benefit from the expertise of multiple specialists. 

  • Groundbreaking treatments: We were the first in Missouri to offer the Gamma Knife, a highly effective radiation tool that targets brain tumors in patients with gliomas, essential tremors, epilepsy and other neurologic diseases. Our neurosurgeons are also among the first in the country to treat brain tumors with hyperthermia treatment, a new procedure that dramatically reduces trauma and recovery time.

  • Advanced tools: MRI is a powerful tool that allows neurosurgeons to differentiate between healthy and diseased brain tissue. Our neurosurgeons use intraoperative MRI during surgery so they can more completely remove tumors the first time. We have the most experience with high-field-strength movable intraoperative MRI of any hospital in the United States.

  • Pituitary tumor treatment: Our Pituitary Tumor Center was the first multispecialty center in the region focused exclusively on diagnosing and treating pituitary tumors. We offer a range of innovative treatments designed to remove tumors safely while sparing surrounding healthy tissue.

Types of brain tumors

Brain tumors are classified as either primary or metastatic. Primary brain tumors originate in the brain and may spread within the central nervous system (brain and spinal cord). They rarely spread to other parts of the body. Metastatic brain tumors originate from a cancer in another organ and spread to the brain.

Types of brain tumors we treat include: 

  • Diffuse astrocytoma
    These tumors grow slowly but can be difficult to remove completely. They often require treatments in addition to surgery, such as chemotherapy or radiation therapy.
  • Ependymoma
    Many ependymomas can be completely removed with surgery. Sometimes patients require other therapies such as chemotherapy or radiation therapy.
  • Glioblastoma
    These are the most common cancerous primary brain tumors in adults, although they can occur at any age. Glioblastomas can be aggressive and challenging to treat, so clinical trials play an important role.
  • Meningioma
    These tumors start in the meninges, the membranes that cover your brain and spinal cord. Meningiomas are the most common noncancerous brain tumor.
  • Oligodendroglioma
    Oligodendrogliomas tend to affect young adults. They grow slowly and often respond well to treatment.
  • Pilocytic astrocytoma
    These often can be completely removed with surgery and don't tend to grow back. These tumors occur more often in children and young adults.
  • Pituitary tumors
    These irregular growths form in the pituitary gland, a small gland in the brain that produces hormones.
  • Vestibular schwannoma
    Also called acoustic neuroma, these noncancerous tumors form on the vestibular nerve, the cranial nerve that runs between your inner ear and your brain.
Diagnosing brain tumors

Sometimes, tumors cause disruptive symptoms such as severe headaches or seizures. Other times, you don’t know you have a tumor until you have imaging scans for another health condition.

When your doctor suspects a possible brain tumor, they’ll use several tools to figure out how big the tumor is, whether it’s cancerous and if you have tumors in other parts of your body. The answers to all of these questions help us create an effective treatment plan.

Your diagnosis may include: 

Receive computed tomography (CT) scans close to home.
We provide quick, accurate magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans. Our expertise and commitment to quality help you receive outstanding care.
Stereotactic biopsy
We perform a short procedure to remove a small piece of brain tissue for testing in a laboratory. You receive anesthesia so you are asleep during the biopsy.
Brain tumor treatment at BJC

Your brain tumor treatment plan varies depending on several factors, including how much the tumor has spread and how fast it is growing. We use a range of advanced treatment options, including emerging therapies for tumors that historically were inoperable.

Your treatment may include:

Awake craniotomy
We remove a portion of the skull to access your brain and remove the tumor. You stay awake to ensure we do not affect any critical areas of the brain during the operation.
Intraoperative MRI
This tool allows us to use real-time MRI images in the operating room. You never have to be moved or repositioned during surgery and neurosurgeons operate with better precision.
Gamma knife stereotactic radiosurgery
We use precise, focused radiation beams to shrink and destroy tumors. This advanced procedure doesn't require any incisions.
Hyperthermia treatment (laser interstitial thermal therapy)
We make a very small scalp incision and guide a probe directly to the tumor. The probe heats and destroys the tumor without damaging surrounding healthy tissue.
Minimally invasive endoscopy
We use very small incisions, a camera and special surgical tools to reach a brain tumor. These techniques lead to less pain, faster recovery and smaller scars.
Skull base tumor surgery
Minimally invasive techniques allow us to remove pituitary tumors through the nose rather than through a large head incision, leading to quicker recovery and lower complication rates.
Cancer-fighting drugs and other substances to halt abnormal cell growth, including cancer cells.
These treatments harness your own immune system to attack or destroy cancer cells.
Radiation therapy
High doses of radiation can shrink tumors and destroy cancer cells.

Schedule your appointment

 Call  (314) 362-9355  or  (800) 392-0936  to schedule your appointment with a specialist.

Sign up for our newsletter and take charge of your whole health.

Stay ahead of the curve with exclusive content from BJC's health care professionals, delivered right to your inbox.