Comprehensive Brain Tumor Centers The Tug McGraw Foundation has worked with these leading national brain tumor centers. These and other top institutions can offer second-opinions, clinical trial information and additional resources that may not be available to all patients in their local communities. Updated June 2020

Treatment Centers for Brain Tumors

Barrow Neurological Institute (Arizona)

Diagnosing, managing, and treating brain tumors is a complex effort that requires a skilled and dedicated team. Our internationally-recognized brain tumor specialists work side-by-side with experienced Barrow Neurological Institute neuro-oncologists and radiation oncologists to individualize patient care. Continue reading below to learn more about the brain tumor conditions we treat.

Website:https://www.barrowbrainandspine.com/what-we-treat/brain-tumor/

Physicians at Barrow Neurological Institute oversee more than 8,000 admissions and perform more than 5,000 neurosurgeries annually — more than anywhere else in the U.S. There are 26 neurosurgeons, nine neurosurgery fellows and 28 neurosurgery residents on staff at the hospital. As one of the leading spine organizations in the world, U.S. News & World Report named Barrow Neurological Institute among the top 50 hospitals in the nation for neurology and neurosurgery in 2019-20.

Cleveland Clinic: Rose Ella Burkhardt Brain Tumor & Neuro-Oncology Center (Ohio)

The Rose Ella Burkhardt Brain Tumor and Neuro-Oncology Center is a nationally recognized leader in the diagnosis and treatment of primary and metastatic spine, nerve, and brain tumors, and their effects on the nervous system. Annually, the Burkhardt Brain Tumor Center physicians record approximately 8,000 patient visits and perform more than 900 surgeries.

Website: https://my.clevelandclinic.org/departments/neurological/depts/brain-tumor-neuro-oncology

Cleveland Clinic's Center for Spine Health sees thousands of patients annually. The Center for Spine Health has three specialty departments to address lower back pain, spinal deformity and spine tumors. Cleveland Clinic has 14 spine surgeons on staff, 14 medical/interventional staff members and 13 advanced care providers in its Center for Spine Health. The center is also testing robotics and is in the midst of a cervical spondylotic myelopathy surgical trial. U.S. News & World Report ranked Cleveland Clinic No. 10 in the nation for neurology and neurosurgery in 2019-20.

Duke Health: The Preston Robert Tisch Brain Tumor Center (North Carolina)

The Preston Robert Tisch Brain Tumor Center continues to lead the nation in having the largest clinical brain tumor service seeing between 800 and 900 new brain tumor patients annually from 50 states and 5 countries.  

Website: https://www.dukehealth.org/treatments/cancer/brain-tumor

Duke University Hospital's comprehensive spine institute has 106 physicians on hand to provide an array of spine-related treatments. The spine team at Duke performs more than 1,200 spine surgeries annually. The hospital equipped all its surgery centers with intraoperative imaging equipment to ensure all procedures and physicians have access to real-time imaging information. U.S. News & World Report named Duke its No. 1 hospital in North Carolina and among the top 25 hospitals in the nation for neurology and neurosurgery in 2019-20.

Jefferson Health: Vickie and Jack Farber Institute for Neuroscience and the Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center (Pennsylvania)

As the area’s only dedicated neuroscience hospital, our specialists treat the highest volume of brain tumors in the region, including meningiomas, malignant and benign tumors and metastatic lesions. Bringing together the expertise and experience of the Vickie and Jack Farber Institute for Neuroscience and the Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center, our team has also helped many patients navigate life after a brain tumor diagnosis, and can provide you with the support and care you need.

Website: https://jeffersonhealthbraintumor.com/

Jefferson Hospital for Neuroscience is the only hospital in the Philadelphia region dedicated to neuroscience, and is one of the busiest academic neurosurgical programs in the U.S. The neuroscience program has five surgeons on staff, and in 2015, was the first in the region to offer deep brain stimulation. In 2019-20, U.S. News & World Report ranked Jefferson Health-Thomas Jefferson University Hospital among the top 50 hospitals in the nation for neurology and neurosurgery. The health system also has a robust spine program, with its spine surgeons completing around 7,000 procedures each year at inpatient and ambulatory locations. It was also the first in the country to enroll a patient in the INSPIRE 2.0 clinical trial examining treatment for spinal cord injury.

John Hopkins Brain Tumor Center (Maryland)

The Johns Hopkins Comprehensive Brain Tumor Center in Baltimore, Maryland, is one of the largest brain tumor treatment and research centers in the world. We treat an extremely large number of patients affected by all types of brain tumors. We tailor each patient's treatment using an array of advanced approaches, including emerging treatments such as tumor-treating fields and MRI-guided laser ablation.

Website: https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/neurology_neurosurgery/centers_clinics/brain_tumor/

Physicians in the department of neurology and neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins Medicine have been treating patients since 1889, and now perform more than 4,000 operations and 30,000 outpatient consultations each year. The Johns Hopkins Carnegie Center for Surgical Innovation, a collaboration between the departments of neurosurgery and biomedical engineering, is working on new technology to make spine surgery safer through image-guided interventions. Johns Hopkins neurosurgeons are actively researching and conducting clinical trials on Parkinson's disease, dementia and brain cancer. The Johns Hopkins Hospital was ranked No. 1 in the in the nation for neurology and neurosurgery in 2019-20 by U.S. News & World Report.

The Mayo Clinic Brain Tumor Program (Minnesota, Arizona, Florida)

Is available at the clinic's campuses in Arizona, Florida and Minnesota — offers personalized, comprehensive, expert care to people with brain tumors. If you have a serious, complex or rare brain tumor condition, such as glioma, meningioma, pituitary tumors, skull base tumors or brain metastases, you'll find exactly the care you need at Mayo Clinic. Your care team is dedicated to matching you with the medical or surgical team that best fits your unique situation. This includes helping to select which clinic location is the most convenient.

Website:https://www.mayoclinic.org/departments-centers/brain-tumor-program/home/orc-20439723

 

Mayo Clinic is one of the premier institutions for neurosurgery in the nation, with its Rochester location ranked No. 2 for neurology and neurosurgery by U.S. News & World Report in 2019-20. Neurosurgeons annually perform 7,000 procedures at its three campuses in Arizona, Florida and Minnesota. The health system is also on the forefront of neurosurgical research and currently has 31 clinical trials open for participation as well as a registry for primary spinal tumor research.

MD Anderson's Anne C. Brooks Brain and Spine Center (Texas)

Brain tumors can be aggressive and challenging to treat, even for experts. MD Anderson’s Anne C. Brooks Brain and Spine Center has nearly 75 years of experience diagnosing and treating brain tumors, spine tumors and skull base tumors. Our world-renowned surgeons, medical oncologists and radiation therapists work together to develop a customized care plan centered on your specific treatment needs. 

Successful brain cancer treatment depends on early and accurate diagnosis. At the Brain and Spine Center, our neuropathologists focus only on diagnosing brain and spine tumors, with a wealth of experience that comes from seeing thousands of new cases each year.

Advanced technologies and less-invasive treatment options such as proton therapy, BrainSuite, Gamma Knife® radiosurgery and new targeted therapies provide the best hope for successful treatment with the least impact on your physical and mental function.

Website: https://www.mdanderson.org/patients-family/diagnosis-treatment/care-centers-clinics/brain-and-spine-center.html

New York Presbyterian-Cornell Medical Center (New York)

NewYork-Presbyterian's Brain Tumor Centers provide comprehensive care for brain and spinal tumors and treat more brain tumors than any other center in New York. Among the busiest programs in the nation, we treat thousands of people with brain and spinal tumors each year, including primary tumors as well as metastatic tumors. As a leading academic medical center, we are at the forefront of brain tumor research. Our clinical activities are combined with vigorous research efforts, aimed at improving outcomes for patients with brain and spinal tumors.

Website: https://www.nyp.org/neuro/services/brain-and-spine-tumors

Cornell Medical Center's Weill Cornell Brain and Spine Center includes 24 neurosurgeons, neuroradiologists, neuropsychologists and neuroendocrinologists, who offer clinical services, conduct research and train students, residents and fellows. Patients receiving care at the center have access to the latest research-based medicine, including access to 16 neurosurgery-focused clinical trials. NewYork-Presbyterian was ranked No. 4 on U.S. News & World Report's 2019-20 list of the 50 best hospitals for neurology and neurosurgery.

Northwestern Memorial Hospital: Lou and Jean Malnati Brain Tumor Institute  (Illinois)

As one of the world’s leading centers for brain tumor research, we’re constantly working to find new treatments — and bring those treatments to patients.

Website:https://www.feinberg.northwestern.edu/sites/brain-tumor/ 

Northwestern Memorial Hospital includes 38 neurological surgery and spine surgery specialists. It also offers a combined orthopedic spine and neurosurgical spine fellowship to train the next generation of spine and neurosurgeons. Earlier this year, the hospital launched the Northwestern Medicine Hispanic Brain and Spine Tumor Program in Chicago, which aims to reduce barriers to specialized care for the Hispanic and Latino population. U.S. News & World Report ranked Northwestern Memorial Hospital No. 5 on its list of the 50 best hospitals for neurology and neurosurgery in 2019-20.

NYU Langone Health Brain and Spine Tumor Center (New York)

NYU Langone’s Brain and Spine Tumor Center, part of Perlmutter Cancer Center, has a longstanding reputation as a national and international leader in the treatment of brain tumorsspinal cord tumors, and skull base tumors in adults and children. Our neuro-oncologists and radiation oncologists provide expert treatment for all types of brain tumors, including glioma and astrocytomapituitary adenomaprimary central nervous system lymphoma, and metastatic brain tumors. They also treat people with less common types of brain tumors, such as craniopharyngioma, hemangioblastoma, medulloblastoma, ependymomas, and pineal region tumors.

Website: https://nyulangone.org/locations/brain-spine-tumor-center

NYU Langone Health's neurosurgery department consists of more than 20 full-time clinical and research faculty members who take on other physicians' most complex surgical cases. Combined with the system's orthopedic spine surgeons, NYU Langone supports about 2,700 spine procedures per year. Its spine center is equipped with robotic technology and a 3D platform for planning and performing surgeries and provides operative and nonoperative treatment for about 18,000 adults and children annually. NYU Langone Hospitals is ranked No. 9 among U.S. News & World Report's top 50 hospitals for neurology and neurosurgery.

Rush University Medical Coleman Foundation Comprehensive Brain Tumor Clinic (Illinois)

The Neuro-Oncology Program at Rush is one of the largest and busiest in the Midwest. The Coleman Foundation Comprehensive Brain Tumor Clinic provides a multidisciplinary approach that ensures every patient receives state-of-the-art care, tailored to the specific patient and designed by the most experienced and qualified specialists in the area. 

Website: https://www.rush.edu/services/brain-tumor-services

Rush University Medical Center is one of the top 10 hospitals in the nation for neurology and neurosurgery, according to U.S. News & World Report. Its neurosurgery program consistently reports the most neurosurgical discharges in the Chicago area. In 2018, the health system reported 4,334 neurological surgery outpatient visits focused on the brain and 6,498 outpatient neurological visits focused on the spine. The health system also has a robust spine and back care program, with 12 physicians and surgeons increasingly moving toward minimally invasive and outpatient procedures. The health systems surgeons aim to stay at the forefront of patient treatment and participate in clinical trials investigating degenerative disc disease treatment, registry data for metastatic spine tumors and spinal stenosis treatment with new technology.

Stanford Health Brain and Spine Tumor Center (California)

We are consistently ranked among the best centers in the nation for neurosurgery. We are fortunate to have excellent facilities and the most technologically advanced equipment in the world to help us treat neurological diseases for both adult and pediatric patients. Together, we are driving forward the most innovative technologies in neurosurgery – from cutting-edge neuroscience research and clinical trials to the widespread clinical implementation of our discoveries.

Website: https://stanfordhealthcare.org/medical-clinics/brain-spine-tumor-center.html

 

The Stanford department of neurosurgery is composed of 61 neurosurgeons who perform 4,000 neurosurgical operations annually. It was named the No. 9 hospital in the nation for neurology and neurosurgery by U.S. News & World Report in 2019-20 and its stroke center was the first in the nation to be certified as a comprehensive stroke center by the Joint Commission. The department has 30 active labs researching topics including brain injury, deep brain stimulation, brain tumors and epilepsy.

UCLA Brain Tumor Center (California)

UCLA is home to one of the world’s leading centers for brain tumor research, diagnosis and treatment. From neurosurgeons to imaging physicists, our team includes some of the best and brightest minds in the field. We care for the full range of brain tumors, using innovative techniques such as functional brain mapping to deliver precision therapies.

Website: https://www.uclahealth.org/braintumor/

As UCLA Health's flagship hospital, UCLA Medical Center's neurosurgery department has ranked as one of the top neurosurgery programs in the nation for over 20 consecutive years by U.S. News & World Report. The department has its own neurosurgery app designed for patients with information about their physicians, procedures and hospital amenities. UCLA's Spine Center is also designated a Blue Distinction Center for Spine Surgery by Blue Shield of California.

UCSF BRAIN TUMOR CENTER (California)

The UCSF Brain Tumor Center is one of the largest and most comprehensive programs in the nation for the treatment of brain and spinal tumors. We treat all grades of tumors, whether newly diagnosed or recurring after previous treatment. We also offer specialized care for patients with CNS metastases, tumors that have spread to the central nervous system. Our team brings together neurosurgeons, neuro-oncologists, radiation oncologists and radiologists, as well as other health professionals with expertise in these conditions.

Website: https://www.ucsfhealth.org/clinics/brain-tumor-center

The department of neurological surgery at UCSF Medical Center has 14 specialties, including pediatric neurosurgery. In 2011, the department developed the Quality Improvement and Patient Safety initiative with the goal of becoming a national leader in neurological surgery quality. The hospital is piloting an enhanced recovery after surgery pathway for cranial surgery as well as an opioid stewardship program. UCSF's Spine Center is also one of the largest spine centers in the country and sees over 10,000 patients a year. The department of neurological surgery at UCSF was recognized in 2019-20 as one of the top three neurosurgery programs in the country by U.S. News & World Report, which also ranks the UCSF Benioff Children's Hospitals among the top hospitals for pediatric neurosurgery in the nation.

 
Education and Support
National

American Brain Tumor Association (www.abta.org)
The American Brain Tumor Association exists to eliminate brain tumors through research and to meet the needs of brain tumor patients and their families.

American Cancer Society (www.cancer.org) 
The mission of the American Brain Tumor Association is to advance the understanding and treatment of brain tumors with the goals of improving, extending and, ultimately, saving the lives of those impacted by a brain tumor diagnosis.

T.H.E. BRAIN TRUST (http://www.braintrust.org/) 
The mission of T.H.E. BRAIN TRUST is to create a healing exchange of information and support among people affected by neurological disorders including patient-survivors, families, caregivers, health professionals and researchers. Their goal is to provide and improve online communication resources.

Musella Foundation (http://www.virtualtrials.com/)
The Musella Foundation for Brain Tumor Research is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization dedicated to improving the quality of life and survival times for brain tumor patients. They will attempt to achieve that goal by using computer technology to streamline the flow of information, organize the brain tumor community and raise money for brain tumor research.
 
National Brain Tumor Society (http:www.braintumor.org)

National Brain Tumor Society (NBTS) is a nonprofit organization committed to finding a cure for brain tumors. They aggressively drive strategic research, advocate for public policies that meet the critical needs of the brain tumor community, and provide patient information.

 

Voices Against Brain Cancer (http://www.voicesagainstbraincancer.org/)

Voices Against Brain Cancer's (VABC) mission is to find a cure for brain cancer and brain tumors by advancing scientific research, increasing awareness, creating a brain cancer and tumor community, and supporting patients, their families and caregivers afflicted with this devastating disease.

International

Brain Tumor Australia (http://www.bta.org.au/)
BTA provides a support network for patients, caregivers, family members and health professionals.
 
Brain Tumour Foundation of Canada (http://www.braintumour.ca)
Brain Tumour Foundation of Canada is a national, not-for-profit organization dedicated to reaching every person in Canada affected by a brain tumour with support, education and information, and to fund brain tumour research.
 
Brain Tumour Foundation of India (http://www.braintumourindia.com/)
BTF of India is a charity concerned with improving the care and treatment available to people with brain tumours and their families. BTF works in partnership with other organizations to develop and support services for people with brain tumours in and around Bombay; they are hoping to expand services to involve the whole country.
 
The International Brain Tumour Alliance (http://www.theibta.org)
The IBTA seeks to be an alliance of the support, advocacy and information groups for brain tumour patients and caregivers in different countries and also includes researchers, scientists, clinicians and allied health professionals who work in the area of brain tumours.

 
How to Qualify for Social Security Disability
Benefits with Brain Cancer

Brain and central nervous system cancers are more common than people realize. People who develop brain cancer and are unable to work can qualify for disability benefits to take some of the worry off of them while they fight their cancer. Disability benefits can be used to pay for things like a mortgage or rent and food and utilities while the person can’t work. Social Security disability benefits may be approved automatically for people with brain cancer.

Qualifying For Disability Benefits With Brain Cancer

The Social Security Administration maintains a listing of all conditions that are eligible for disability benefits called the Blue Book.  All of the conditions that make someone eligible for disability benefits are listed in the Blue Book with a set of requirements that must be met before someone can be eligible for disability benefits. Brain cancer is a serious disease that can be fatal. When you are diagnosed with brain cancer you will automatically qualify for disability benefits if your cancer has been treated but returns or if your cancer has spread. If your cancer is late stage, it returns after being treated, or it has spread you can be approved quickly for benefits and your benefits will be expedited. Some people with serious cancers may receive their disability benefits in as little as two weeks once they have been approved for benefits.

You will need to submit a cancer diagnosis, brain scans, test results, and other documentation showing that you have met all of the Blue Book requirements in order to get approved by the SSA for benefits. If you don’t meet the strict Blue Book listing for brain cancer but your cancer still makes it impossible for you to work you may be able to qualify for benefits through the Medical Vocational Allowance program.

Medical Vocational Allowance

Medical Vocational Allowance is used as a way for people who are too sick too work but don’t meet the Blue Book requirements to get disability benefits. You can ask the Social Security Administration to perform a Residual Functional Capacity evaluation for you. This evaluation is designed to take your skill set into consideration along with the symptoms that you’re having and see if there is any type of full-time work that you can do. If the results of the Residual Functional Capacity evaluation show that your condition makes it impossible for you to work then you can be eligible for disability benefits.   

Starting The Filing Process

Don’t wait to file a claim for benefits if you have been diagnosed with brain cancer. You can file a claim for disability benefits online and submit your medical evidence online if that’s more convenient. Or you can apply in person at the SSA office closest to you. If you apply in person make sure that you bring copies of all of your medical documentation with you to the appointment. A staff member there will go over all your documentation and walk you through the claim process. This is very helpful if you’re applying for a Medical Vocational Allowance.             

 

 

Resources:

Tug McGraw Foundation: https://www.tugmcgraw.org/

 

T.H.E. BRAIN TRUST (http://www.braintrust.org)
The mission of T.H.E. BRAIN TRUST is to create a healing exchange of information and support among People affected by neurological disorders including patient-survivors, families, caregivers, health professionals and researchers. Their goal is to provide and improve online communication resources.
 
Camp Good Days & Special Times (www.campgooddays.org)
Camp Good Days is a free-of-charge nonprofit dedicated to improving the quality of life for kids with cancer and their families. They provide programs, activities and services year-round, highlighted by a week of summer camp at our recreational facility on Keuka Lake in Branchport, NY. These activities provide a regular, dependable opportunity for fun and laughter away from the sterile environment of hospitals, which these children have been forced to become accustomed to.
 
Caregiver.com (www.caregiver911.com)
Their site provides a comprehensive list of quality links on caregiving on the Internet. Also includes listings of other resources as well as an "Ask Dr. Caregiver" section.
 
Caring Bridge (www.caringbridge.org)
A free CaringBridge website helps keep loved ones informed during difficult times. In return, family and friends give patients and caregivers support through guestbook messages.
 
Chemocare.com (www.chemocare.com)
This website is designed to provide the latest information on chemotherapy to patients and their families, caregivers and friends and to serve as a supplementary tool to the healthcare professional. Chemocare is a program of the Scott Hamilton CARES initiative.
 
Family Caregiver’s Alliance (www.caregiver.org) 
The alliance supports and assists caregivers of brain-impaired adults through education, research, services and advocacy. The organization provides a clearinghouse of information and resources related to medical, social, public policy and caregiving issues related to brain impairments. Their website includes an online support group for friends and family members caring for an adult with cognitive disabilities. It is an excellent resource for information on managing problem behaviors.

Gilda’s Club Worldwide (www.gildasclub.org)
Gilda's Club provides places where men, women, and children with cancer and their families and friends join with others to build social and emotional support as a supplement to medical care. Free of charge and non-profit, Gilda's Clubs offer support and networking groups, lectures, workshops and social events in a nonresidential, home-like setting. Funding is solicited from private individuals, corporations, and foundations.

Inspiration Hospice (http://www.inspirationhospice.com/)
Inspiration Hospice provides the highest quality of hospice care to patients, their families and significant other care providers, developing professional healthcare partnerships, raising the care standard in the communities served and serving as the hospice employer of choice.

National Family Caregivers Association (www.nfcacares.org) 
This group provides education and information services, support and validation for caregivers, public awareness and advocacy devoted to improving the quality of life of caregivers. Services for family caregivers include a quarterly newsletter, peer support network, educational materials, national resource referrals and a bereavement program.

OncoLink, the website of the University of Pennsylvania Cancer Center, (www.oncolink.upenn.edu) 
Their site offers an unmoderated discussion list for parents, siblings or friends of cancer patients; an e-mail discussion group about hospice-related issues; an extensive bibliography of issues related to caregiving; and an in-depth caregiver education course.

Alex's Lemonade Foundations Super Sibs! (https://www.alexslemonade.org/childhood-cancer/for-families/supersibs
The mission of SuperSibs! is to honor, support and recognize the brothers and sisters of children with cancer. By reaching out to the siblings of those over 12,600 children diagnosed with cancer each year in the United States and Canada, the siblings will feel valued, validated, heard, supported and delighted as recipients of SuperSibs! services and as participants in SuperSibs! activities.

We Can (www.wecan.cc) 
A parent-initiated pediatric brain tumor network that serves greater Los Angeles, Bakersfield, Sacramento and the San Francisco Bay area. We Can offers the Veteran Parent Program (one-on-one mentoring), parent support and education meetings, Sibling Workshops, a Teen Group and Family Camp. The life situations of We Can members range from families with newly diagnosed patients, children/teenagers still in treatment and acute recovery to parents of adult children treated more than a decade ago. Our network includes families who have experienced end-of-life care, death and bereavement.

 

Caregiver Support
 
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