Neurofibromatosis is treated within GWCC’s Neuro Oncology Program. Neurofibromatosis is a genetic disorder that causes tumors to form on nerve tissue. These tumors can develop anywhere in your nervous system, including your brain, spinal cord and nerves. Neurofibromatosis is usually diagnosed in childhood or early adulthood. The tumors are usually noncancerous (benign), but sometimes can become cancerous (malignant). Symptoms are often mild. However, complications of neurofibromatosis can include hearing loss, learning impairment, heart and blood vessel (cardiovascular) problems, loss of vision, and severe pain.
Neurofibromatosis is treated within the GW Neuro Oncology Program
- Receive a Comprehensive, Compassionate Approach
The Neuro-Oncology Program focuses on a comprehensive approach to the treatment of brain tumors. Specialists in neurosurgery, neurology, medical oncology, radiation oncology, neuroradiology, nursing, speech and occupational and physical therapy work together to enhance patient care GW Radiation Oncology Center at every stage—from the initial evaluation, diagnosis and treatment, to post-treatment support groups and longitudinal follow-up.
Neuro Oncology Program Information
Brain Tumor Support Group
In the neurosurgical critical care unit, patients receive postoperative monitoring to facilitate a trauma-free recovery. The GW Cancer Center's comprehensive, compassionate approach to healthcare extends through the follow-up period. The Brain Tumor Support Group, for example, gives patients and their families a comfortable environment in which to express their concerns and ask questions under the guidance of a neurological nurse practitioner with more than twenty years of experience.
Intensity Modulated Radiation Therapy (IMRT)
With the Clinac® 21EX Linear Accelerator from Varian Medical Systems, The GW Cancer Center offers patients Intensity Modulated Radiation Therapy (IMRT), a precise and sophisticated treatment technology for treating cancer. Used in conjunction with multi-modality imaging, IMRT allows technicians to plan for and deliver higher does of radiation while minimizing the effects to healthy tissue.
Image-Guided Radiation Therapy
Standard radiation therapy is often limited by normal shifts within the human anatomy. For example, tissues and organs can settle differently each time a patient climbs on a treatment table. Weight fluctuations and normal breathing can also change a tumor's locale. Radiation oncologists have traditionally compensated for tumor movement by enlarging treatment areas, exposing more healthy tissue to the cell-killing effects of radiation. Doses are typically lowered to avoid complications.
New techniques are are now available that allow radiation therapy specialist to locate and target tumors with unprecedented accuracy. This next generation treatment technology — called image-guided radiation therapy (IGRT) — represents a major step in the fight against cancer. IGRT allows for the use of higher, more effective doses of radiation because there is less risk of damaging nearby healthy tissue.
RapidArc™ Image Guided IMRT
The GW Cancer Center offers RapidArc radiotherapy technology, a major medical advance in Radiation Oncology.
Using this new approach to delivering image-guided, intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IG-IMRT), treatments that previously required at least 10 to 15 minutes can be finished in less than two minutes without compromising treatment quality. For patients who are receiving radiation treatment daily over several weeks, that can make a significant difference.