Spinal tumors are abnormal masses of tissue that develop in or around the spinal cord or spinal column. Spinal tumors can be benign (noncancerous) or malignant (cancerous).
Tumors that originate in the spine often are benign. Malignant tumors typically arise because a primary cancer in another part of the body spreads (metastasizes) to the spine or, in rare cases, the malignancy may arise primarily in the spine itself.
The Spinal Oncology Center at UT Southwestern brings together a multidisciplinary team of experts from neurosurgery, orthopaedic surgery, radiation oncology, and medical oncology. We work closely with the experts at UT Southwestern’s Harold C. Simmons Comprehensive Cancer Center to collaboratively treat patients with cancerous spinal tumors.
Our team uses the latest advances in surgical and nonsurgical techniques to help improve outcomes and develop new treatments for patient affected with tumors of the spinal cord or spinal column.
The level of compassion, skill, and expertise by our team members is unsurpassed by any program in the country, and our multidisciplinary team approach ensures the highest level of care for our patients.
We have extensive experience treating both primary and metastatic tumors of the spine. Primary spinal cord and nerve tumors treated by our experts include gliomas, ependymomas, schwannomas, neurofibromas, and cavernous malformations (cavernomas). Primary spinal column tumors include chordoma, ostoblastoma, sarcomas, and giant cell tumors.
We strive to coordinate, facilitate, and expedite patient care, saving our patients time. Our goal is to partner with our patients in their care, get them back to health as soon as possible, and help them achieve the best outcomes.
Tests, procedures, and imaging studies we use to diagnose spinal tumors may include:
- Neurological examination
- Spine imaging, such as computed tomography (CT), magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), and positron emission tomography (PET)
- Laboratory testing
- Electromyography and nerve conduction studies (EMG/NCS)
- Tissue sample (biopsy)
After diagnosis, we’ll make sure you see the right experts to treat your specific symptoms. Our specialists at UT Southwestern Spine Center treat both cancerous and noncancerous spinal tumors with therapies that include:
- Surgery, including state-of-the-art microsurgery
- Radiation therapy, including sophisticated stereotactic radiosurgery, pioneered at UT Southwestern
- Chemotherapy, using the latest evidence-based drugs
We’ll create a care plan that minimizes the number of visits you need to make, while also providing you with the support you need.
UT Southwestern conducts clinical trials aimed at improving the diagnosis and treatment of spinal tumors. Talk with your doctor to see if a clinical trial is right for you.
Request an Appointment
To schedule an appointment with a spinal tumor specialist at UT Southwestern’s facilities in Dallas or to learn more about our services, request an appointment or call 214-645-8300.