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University of California San Francisco

Conditions We Treat

Brain & Spine Tumors – Adults

Doctors usually use the term “brain tumors” rather than “brain cancers” to describe both malignant and non-malignant tumors of the brain. This is because both malignant and non-malignant tumors of the brain can be disabling or life-threatening even when they don’t show a tendency to spread to other parts of the body.

Brain and spinal cord tumors in adults often arise from different cell types and in different locations than those in children. In adults, metastatic tumors to the brain from other sites in the body are more common than tumors which start in the brain (“primary brain tumors”). Metastatic tumors to the brain are treated differently from primary brain tumors.

In adults, types of tumors of the brain, spinal cord, or regions near the brain can include:

  • Gliomas
  • Astrocytomas
  • Oligodendrogliomas
  • Ependymomas
  • Craniopharyngiomas
  • Schwannomas
  • Meningiomas
  • Hemangiomas
  • Chordomas
  • Lymphomas
  • Pituitary tumors
  • Pineal tumors
  • Germ cell tumors
  • Medulloblastomas
  • Gangliogliomas
  • Metastases from other sites in the body

UCSF Radiation Oncology is part of the UCSF Comprehensive Cancer Center, a member of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network; an alliance of 26 of the world’s leading cancer centers. We are known, nationally and internationally, for our advanced and state-of-the-art treatments for tumors of the brain and spinal cord in adults. We offer a full range of treatments for these tumors, individually customized for each patient, including:

  • Stereotactic Radiosurgery (SRS), including Gamma Knife, CyberKnife, and TrueBeam™ STx with Novalis Radiosurgery
  • Intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT)
  • Three dimensional conformal radiation therapy (3DCRT)
  • Brachytherapy

Redefining Possible