Treatment Options

Treatment Options

SCCA’s Neuro-Oncology team offers the best and most current treatment to patients with brain and spinal cord cancers. This includes offering treatments based on the latest available scientific evidence and clinical research studies. We work toward discovering and implementing new treatments and technologies when caring for our patients and managing their disease.

The goals for managing brain and spinal cord cancers are to:

  • Remove or destroy the cancer through surgery, radiation, and/or chemotherapy. 
  • Relieve symptoms and signs that are due to the cancer pressing on the brain or spinal cord. 
  • Improve the overall functioning and quality of life of the patient.

The type of treatment for brain and spinal cord cancers depends on many factors including the type of cancer, location of the cancer, overall health of the patient, and the patient’s wants and needs. Information about side effects of these treatments is included as well.


Surgery is often the first step in treating adult brain and spine cancers. Even for the fastest growing brain cancers, surgery is the first step toward complete treatment.

Radiation Treatment

Radiation may be performed externally or internally and can be an important step in treating most cancers.

Proton Therapy

Proton therapy is a precise form of radiation treatment that targets protons at tumors to kill cancer cells, while significantly limiting radiation exposure to surrounding healthy tissue.


Chemotherapy works by injuring the cancer’s genetic material or DNA, which impairs its ability to divide, multiply, and grow.

Biological Therapy/Targeted Therapy/Vaccine Therapy

This group of therapies uses proteins like monoclonal antibodies and small molecules to fight cancer cells. A new class of agents called targeted therapies are designed to injure a specific growth-promoting target in cancer.

Managing the Side Effects of Treatment

The following are common side effects of brain and spinal cord cancer treatment.

Scientific Articles

Read articles written by SCCA/UW physicians and researchers about the treatments for brain and spinal cord cancers.

Bench to Bedside

From bench to bedside is a concept that most all medical discoveries are based on. Physician researchers find new treatments in the laboratory and through clinical trials, bring them to patients.