Get in touch today 206.598.4100 or

Schedule an Appointment

Brain and Spine Tumors

The brain is the center of thought, memory, emotion, speech, sensation and motor function. Together, the brain and spinal cord form the central nervous system.  The spinal cord communicates with special nerves in the head, called cranial nerves, to carry and receive messages between the brain and the rest of the body. 

Brain and spinal cord cancers are a disorganized collection of cells inside the skull or the spinal column that grow out of control and invade surrounding tissue.  Brain and spinal cord cancers can occur in the central nervous system as primary cancers, or they can “travel” from other parts of the body and form deposits in the brain or spinal cord in what is called  a secondary cancer.  Many brain cancers are the result of metastasis–the spread of cancer from other places in the body to the brain.

There are two general types of brain tumors:

  • Primary – a tumor that starts in the brain. Primary brain tumors can be benign (not cancerous) or malignant (cancerous). Primary tumors in the brain or spinal cord rarely spread to distant organs.
  • Metastatic – a tumor caused by cancer elsewhere in the body that spreads to the brain. Metastatic brain tumors are always cancerous. Brain tumors cause damage because, as they grow, they can interfere with surrounding cells that serve vital roles in our everyday life.

Types of Brain and Spine Tumors We Treat

  • Acoustic Neuroma/Vestibular Schwannoma
  • Adult Intracranial Ependymoma
  • Adult Low-Grade Infiltrative Supratentorial PNET
  • Adult Medullobastoma
  • Anaplastic
  • Astrocytoma
  • Atypical Meningioma
  • Benign tumors: Acoustic Neuroma, Meningioma
  • Brain
  • Brain/Spine Metastases
  • Central Nervous System
  • Chondrosarcoma
  • Chordoma
  • CNS Primitive Neuroectodermal Tumor (PNET)
  • Craniopharyngioma
  • Ganglioglioma
  • Germinoma
  • Gliomas/Giloblastoma
  • Gliomatosis Cerebri
  • Glomus Tumor/Paraganglioma
  • Hemangiopericytoma
  • Leptomeningeal Metastases
  • Low Grade Glioma
  • Metastatic Lesions
  • Metastatic Spine Tumors
  • Meningioma
  • Oligodendroglioma
  • Oligoastrocytoma
  • Pilocytic Astrocytoma
  • Pleomorphic Xanthoastrocytoma
  • Pineoblastoma
  • Pineal Parenchymal Tumor of Intermediate Differentiation
  • Pediatric CNS malignancies
  • Pituitary tumors
  • Primary CNS Lymphoma
  • Primary Spinal Cord Tumors
  • Spine

Among the Non-Tumor Conditions We Treat

  • AVM/Artial Venous Malformation
  • Functional disorders/TGN
  • Trigeminal Neuralgia

Our Approach

Depending on your diagnosis, stage and particular situation, brain and spine tumors can be treated with radiation, surgery, or chemotherapy, either alone or in combination with each other.

The physicians at the University of Washington Department of Radiation Oncology work very closely with your surgeon and medical oncologist to determine which combination of treatment is best for you. Our team consists of clinicians from neurological-surgery, medical neuro-oncology, radiation oncology, endocrinology, hematology-oncology, neuroradiology, neuropathology and rehabilitiation medicine.  These teams review cases at multidisciplinary tumor boards dedicated to diseases of the brain and central nervous system.

Because of our team’s deep collaboration with the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance, you can be assured that your treatment plan will be highly individualized and based on latest the advances in cancer research.

Please contact us if you are interested in a consultation to discuss the options that best fit you.

Being diagnosed with a brain tumor strikes at the very core of an individual. My role is to be part of a multidisciplinary team that provides the best possible support, education and treatment of the individual so they do not have to journey alone.

- Jason Rockhill, MD, Ph.D.

Get In Touch


Schedule an Appointment

Ready for your first appointment?

Find out what to expect during your first visit

Additional information about
brain and spine tumors

Radiation Oncologists who specialize in
brain and spine tumors

Treatment Options

Open Clinical Trials


DebioPharm: A Phase 1/2 open-label study of Debio 0123 in combination with temozolomide in adult participants with recurrent or progressive glioblastoma and of Debio 0123 in combination with temozolomide and radiotherapy in adult participants with newly diagnosed glioblastoma


Investigators: Jonathan Yang, MD, PhD

Treatment Facilities

UW Medical Center – Montlake – Radiation Oncology Center

1959 NE Pacific Street
Seattle, WA 98195

Locate on Google Maps

UW Medical Cyclotron Facility

1959 NE Pacific Street
Seattle, WA 98195

Locate on Google Maps

Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center – Proton Therapy

1570 N. 115th Street
Seattle, WA 98133

Locate on Google Maps

Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center – South Lake Union

1354 Aloha Street
Seattle, WA 98109

Locate on Google Maps

UW Medicine Harborview Medical Center – Gamma Knife Center

325 9th Avenue
Seattle, WA 98104

Locate on Google Maps

UW Medicine Northwest Hospital & Medical Center — Fred Hutchison Cancer Center Radiation Oncology Services

1570 N 115th Street
Seattle, WA 98133

Locate on Google Maps

VA of Puget Sound Health Care System (Veteran’s Administration)

1660 S Columbian Way
Seattle, WA 98108

Locate on Google Maps