Our Approach to Brain Tumors

Tumors that occur in the brain can be very challenging for patients. Because these areas are so critical and sensitive, a tumor can interfere with the basic functions of the body and dramatically impact one’s quality of life.

If you or a loved one have recently been diagnosed with a brain tumor, you probably have many questions and concerns. Depending on the type of tumor you have, you may be facing a life-changing prognosis.

When you come to Siteman Cancer Center, located at Washington University School of Medicine and Barnes-Jewish Hospital, for the treatment of a brain tumor, we will put you first.

Our Washington University Physicians provide exceptional care grounded in cutting-edge research and clinical trials. They are introducing new treatments, including immunotherapies, patient-specific medicines, and sophisticated surgical and radiation procedures, that benefit their own patients and move the standard of care forward. You can participate in transformative research that may help you today while paving the way for even better treatments tomorrow.

At Siteman, everyone is focused on one goal: helping patients achieve the best outcomes possible.

The Siteman Advantage

Siteman Cancer Center is the only National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center in Missouri. U.S. News & World Report consistently ranks us among the top cancer facilities in the nation.

Since its founding in 1999, Siteman has been leading the charge against cancer from the middle of the Midwest. Our Washington University oncologists and scientists have an impressive track record of discoveries that have fundamentally changed how cancer is treated.

At Siteman, we unite compassionate patient care and ground-breaking cancer research.

Specialized oncologists and surgeons

If you come to Siteman for the treatment of a brain or spine tumor, you will be seen by expert, Washington University oncologists and surgeons who specialize in caring for patients with these conditions. Thanks to their advanced training and extensive experience, they are able to design superior, more effective treatment plans. They also discuss and strategize individual patient cases at specialized, multidisciplinary tumor boards. This means that when you come to Siteman, you benefit from the combined knowledge of all of our practitioners.

Meet the team.

Game-changing research

There have been important advancements in the treatment of brain tumors in recent years, but much work remains to be done. At Siteman, the Washington University Physicians and surgeons on your care team are doing that work.

Some of their more recent breakthroughs include:

Siteman patients also have the unique opportunity to participate in research conducted by their physicians. By allowing their physicians to study their tumor and tissue samples, they could help save other patients’ lives in the future.

Advanced radiation therapies

Many patients with brain tumors undergo radiation therapy. Siteman is the only care center in the region that offers every current form of radiation therapy, including advanced techniques such as Gamma Knife and proton beam. The radiation oncologists at Siteman have an international reputation for developing innovative methods to deliver radiation safely and precisely.

Learn more about our approach to radiation therapy for brain tumors.

Clinical trials

Brain tumor patients at Siteman often receive treatment through clinical trials. These are research studies examining new treatments and approaches, including immunotherapies and targeted therapies for malignant tumors.

Siteman offers more clinical trials than any other facility in the region. If a clinical trial could be a good fit for you, your physicians will be able to include it in your treatment plan.

Explore Siteman’s clinical trials for brain tumors.

Nurse Navigators

The Brain Tumor Center at Siteman Cancer Center also has three nurse navigators who are here to provide additional support to patients, their families and their care teams in the system and community. These nurse navigators facilitate a patient-centered approach to care. Additionally, they:

  • Conduct comprehensive assessments of a patient’s individual needs
  • Provide supportive care throughout the continuum of brain tumor treatment
  • Connect patients to the health care team to facilitate patient-centered collaboration
  • Identify barriers to cancer care and work to eliminate them
  • Link patients to community resources
T Jost

Tammy Jost, RN, BSN – Brain Metastases

L Karcher

Lisa Karcher, RN, MSN – Benign Tumors

K Newell

Katherine Newell, RN, BSN, OCN – Primary Brain Malignancies, Gliomas

Palliative care

Many patients are reluctant to ask for palliative care. They believe that it means giving up on a cure or remission and preparing for death. But the real goal of palliative care is to help you manage your symptoms and treatment side effects so you can have a higher quality of life during treatment and enjoy time with your family and friends. It is appropriate at any age and at any stage in a serious illness.

Palliative care is provided by a specially trained team of doctors, nurse practitioners, social workers, and chaplains, who work together with the patient’s surgical, radiation, or medical oncologists. The palliative physician makes recommendations on extended pain management and any other support the patient or family needs. He or she will offer suggestions about integrating the family’s lifestyle and spiritual beliefs into the care plan.