Neuromedicine Specialties: Brain Tumor Surgery

University of Florida physicians in the neuro-oncology program are leaders in treating patients with malignant and benign tumors.

The physicians apply modern microsurgical and image-guided techniques to the removal of complex and deep-seated tumors involving the brain. Malignant lesions include glioblastoma, anaplastic astrocytoma, germinoma, metastases and central nervous system lymphoma.

Established in 2007 as a result of a $10 million grant, the Preston A. Wells Jr. Center for Brain Tumor Therapy provides comprehensive care for brain tumor patients. William A. Friedman, M.D., University of Florida neurosurgeon and chair of the Department of Neurosurgery, and Duane Anthony Mitchell, M.D., Ph.D., University of Florida neuro-oncologist, are co-directors of the Preston A. Wells Jr. Center for Brain Tumor Therapy.

They lead a team that includes outstanding University of Florida clinicians from neurosurgery, radiation oncology and medical oncology who have dedicated their careers to curing brain tumors. Superb neuropathologists, neuroradiologists and neuroanesthesiologists are an indispensible part of this team, along with a group of caring and skilled nurse practitioners, nurses, social workers, nutritionists and psychologists

The University of Florida neurosurgeons who practice at the Preston Wells Center perform more than 600 surgeries for brain tumors annually.

About Brain Tumors

Primary brain tumors are diagnosed in about 17,000 patients every year, of which 3,500 are in children under the age of 20. Metastatic tumors are much more common and are found in up 170,000 patients per year.

All metastatic tumors are considered malignant, and the behavior of these tumors varies widely according to the type of tumor from which they arose. There are many types of brain tumors, and the most common malignant tumors are:

The most common benign tumors are:

Symptoms of brain tumors depend on the location of the lesion but can include headaches, seizures, weakness or numbness on one side of the body, speech problems, or problems related to cranial nerves (including facial movement, hearing, vision, or swallowing). Symptoms are usually slow and progressive in nature.

The diagnosis of a brain tumor is made using MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) with and without contrast (image above shows a large ring enhancing tumor).