Specialized, Life-Saving Care for Spinal Tumors

University Hospitals is only one of 20 programs in the U.S. to be designated a Center of Excellence by the National Spine Institute. Our patients receive superior, multidisciplinary care from highly skilled spine specialists equipped with the latest medical and surgical advancements for treating spinal tumors, including CyberKnife®, a fully-robotic and painless radiation therapy. UH was the first health system in Ohio to offer CyberKnife® and is among the most experienced in the nation in delivering treatment.

If you are living with a benign or malignant tumor on your spine, you can count on the spine specialists at University Hospitals to provide you with the most advanced spinal tumor treatment options that can remove as much of the tumor as possible without disturbing the vital parts of your spine and its surrounding structures.

Advanced Diagnostic Testing for Spinal Tumors

There are two types of spinal tumors including:

  • Benign spinal tumors: A benign tumor features clean edges and definite borders. Although not cancerous, they may need to be removed if they are putting pressure on the spine or causing discomfort.
  • Malignant spinal tumors: A malignant tumor is cancerous and can infiltrate into healthy tissue, so it should be removed by a team with significant experience in spinal cord tumor removal.

To determine a successful treatment plan, our team must first accurately determine the exact abnormalities within your spinal cord. If you’re experiencing back pain that worsens over time, weakness or numbness, loss of sensation, loss of bowel and bladder control, spinal deformities, pain while standing or erectile dysfunction, you may have a spinal tumor. Some of the advanced techniques available at UH for spinal tumor diagnosis include:

  • Biopsy: Extracting a tiny tissue sample of the tumor may be needed to confirm if it’s benign or malignant.
  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI): An MRI allows us to view all the parts of your spinal cord and spine to make an accurate diagnosis.

Individualized Treatments for Benign and Malignant Tumors

Your general health as well as the type and location of your spinal tumor all play a role in determining your treatment. At University Hospitals, our goal is to provide you with the most advanced treatments that offer the least amount of impact on your body. Some of these treatments may include:

  • Chemotherapy: Chemotherapy is a medicine that may be given orally or by injection to stop or slow the growth of a spinal tumor.
  • Corticosteroids: These drugs are intended to reduce swelling and may be an option if the tumor is pressing against your spinal cord.
  • Proton therapy: With proton therapy, radiation is aimed directly at the site of the tumor without damaging any of the surrounding healthy tissue.
  • Targeted therapies: Using small molecules that block pathways that cancer cells use to survive and multiply, targeted therapies can fight some types of spinal tumors.
  • Surgery: Spine surgery may be an option to remove a portion or your entire tumor while protecting your spinal cord and surrounding structures.

First Health System in Ohio to Offer CyberKnife®

Spinal tumors can be difficult to treat because they can move as you breathe. Since standard radiation therapy is unable to account for this movement, it may damage surrounding healthy tissue. This is why University Hospitals added CyberKnife® capabilities for our patients. We were actually the first health system in Ohio to offer this innovative therapy.

CyberKnife® uses robotic technology to provide painless radiation therapy. It is the only fully robotic radiation delivery system in existence and allows radiation to be delivered accurately and precisely to spinal tumors. Your spinal specialist at UH will discuss if CyberKnife® the right option for you.

Contact University Hospitals for More Information on Spinal Tumor Treatment

If you have any spine problems, it’s important to seek care by a spine specialist for an accurate diagnosis and individualized treatment plan. Contact University Hospitals Spine Institute - because the earlier a spinal tumor is detected, the higher the chances are for a positive outcome. Schedule an appointment today at 1-866-UH4-CARE (1-866-844-2273) at any of our convenient locations.