Dr. Bruce Frankel talks with a colleague with a computer screen showing brain scans in the background

Brain & Spine Cancer

At MUSC Hollings Cancer Center, our multi-disciplinary approach to patient care ensures you receive the best possible treatment. Our MUSC Health Brain & Spine Tumor Program at Hollings Cancer Center offers you the highest level of neuro-oncology care through an experienced team with state-of-the-art facilities, cutting-edge technology and breakthrough laboratory research.

Over the years, the Brain & Spine Tumor Program has expanded the types of tumors we treat through advances in medical and surgical therapies and a broadened array of clinical trials. As a result, you have access to extraordinary neuro-oncology services close to home.

We’re Here For You

At Hollings, we know a cancer diagnosis can be a life changing event. We are here to support you through your journey. Call 843-792-9300 and make an appointment. Experience what sets us apart.

graphic that says Hollings Cancer Center is rated by U.S. News & World Report as a high performing hospital for cancer in 2022-23

In good hands

You know you're in good hands at MUSC Hollings Cancer Center, the state’s only National Cancer Institute-designated cancer center. Here, you have access to the latest innovations in cancer treatment, including clinical trials, advanced surgical techniques, support services and survivorship planning. You can rest easy knowing we hold national rankings for cancer care and take a leadership role in cancer research and prevention.

The Hollings difference

Treatment and Support

Dr. Scott Lindhorst

Our team of brain and spine cancer specialists and nurse navigators use a collaborative approach and state-of-the-art technology to deliver treatment to you. By implementing the latest advancements, Hollings offers what few others in the state can, which includes:

  • Gamma Knife Center – We have one of only two Leksell Gamma Knife Perfexions in South Carolina. They’re considered the gold standard for non-invasive management of benign and malignant brain tumors, vascular malformations, and other abnormalities of the head and neck. Using this radiosurgery technology, tumors that might be difficult or impossible to manage with other techniques can often be treated safely and quickly. Open-skull incisions are unnecessary and the sub-millimeter accuracy of the Gamma Knife minimizes dose exposure to surrounding healthy tissue.
  • Skull Base Center – If you have a skull base disorder, you face special challenges because this area is so complex. With experts in neurological surgery, head and neck surgery, orbital surgery, and plastic surgery, we are ready to treat your complex lesions using the latest microsurgical techniques. The level of collaboration between ENT (rhinologists and head and neck surgeons) and neurosurgery is the highest in the state.
  • Pediatric Brain Tumor Program – We know that children with brain cancer need more than smart doctors. They need a medical team that sees them as the amazing individuals they are. Whether your child’s cancer is benign or malignant, our specialists work with you to ensure our expertise in pediatric neurosurgery, neuro-oncology, neuroradiology, and radiation oncology gives your child the best care possible. We offer highly advanced diagnostic and imaging technology, dedicated lab facilities, and a collaborative approach to planning. We also offer unique therapeutic options ranging from minimally invasive neurosurgery to cutting-edge medical protocols.
  • Glioblastoma – Using advances in medical and surgical therapies, along with an array of clinical trials, doctors at Hollings can offer support for you if you have this aggressive type of cancer.
  • Pituitary Tumor Program – Comprehensive pituitary disorder care has been a specialty at MUSC since the early 1990s, with more than 1,500 patients treated. Your pituitary tumors will be treated by a multi-disciplinary team of neurosurgeons, ophthalmologists, endocrinologists, oncologists, radiologists, radiation oncologists and ENT surgeons. You may also be a candidate for advanced, minimally invasive surgical procedures performed in our state-of-the-art operating room, which has both microscopic and endoscopic surgical capabilities and a dedicated neurosurgical staff.
  • Neuroscience Intensive Care Unit – The seven-bed neuroscience intensive care unit is dedicated to patients with critical neurologic problems. This unit is staffed by dedicated neurointensivists.
Care team member studying scan of brain on a computer monitor.

Doctors at Hollings can accurately diagnosis and develop a detailed treatment plan that is tailored to you. The Brain & Spine Tumor Program uses the latest MRI scanners with dedicated imaging protocols for evaluation of brain tumors, including:

  • MR Perfusion – Evaluation of blood vessels and blood supply to brain tumors, also used to distinguish tumor from treatment effects.
  • MR Spectroscopy – Chemical analysis of brain tissue to determine tumor type and distinguish tumor from treatment effects.
  • Functional MRI (fMRI) – Maps brain activity for treatment planning.
  • Diffusion Tensor Imaging (DTI) – Shows white matter tracts important for preoperative planning.
  • Nuclear Medicine Imaging Techniques – FDG-PET/CT scans used to analyze metabolic activity in tumors to determine tumor type, margins and response to treatment, and Fusion (coregistration) of PET/CT and MR images to more precisely establish tumor extension and treatment effects.
  • Imaging Innovations – Image-guided systems for minimally invasive procedures using both MRI and CT imaging to locate and remove tumors as well as portable CT scanners for immediate results.

Hollings also uses video EEG monitoring that allows doctors to monitor seizure activities.

Dr. Blanco working in her lab

Clinical research at Hollings in brain and spine cancer allows us to better treat you and offer critical alternative treatments to those who may need it. Some recent research includes:

In addition, Hollings’ dedicated Nervous System Transdisciplinary Cancer Team brings together expertise from different disciplines in basic and clinical research for monthly meetings to collaborate on ongoing nervous system cancer research.

As South Carolina’s only NCI-designated cancer center, Hollings offers you clinical trials and treatments that aren’t available anywhere else in the state. These opportunities provide you with access to the latest medications, therapies, and surgical techniques that can improve your outcomes. Learn more about clinical trials at Hollings and see our current brain and spine cancer clinical trials.

 

I think we get so lost in the here and now and how bad it is that we forget that there are good things. And that’s always been kind of one of my themes of life – to be grateful for everything.

Christy Crouch, brain cancer survivor

Christy's story
Christy Crouch sits outside with knitting in her lap

Dr. Lindhorst really takes time to listen. Not only is he brilliant, but I feel like he also does a great job advocating for his patients. In that position, you need to know your stuff, but you also need to be able to relate to patients.

Claudia Salazar, brain cancer survivor

Claudia's story
Claudia Salazar sits on a tree branch at the beach holding a book in her lap

Brain & Spine Cancer Care Locations

MUSC Hollings Cancer Center Downtown

86 Jonathan Lucas Street

Charleston, SC 29425

Scheduling: 843-792-9300

Hematology + Oncology Florence

805 Pamplico Highway

Suite: 315

Florence, SC 29505

Our Brain & Spine Cancer care team works together to deliver cutting-edge treatments that are tailored to your needs.

illustration of a brain with a tumor in the front part

Glioblastoma

Glioblastoma is an aggressive type of cancer that can occur in the brain or spinal cord. We treat glioblastoma with the latest medical and surgical therapies and a variety of clinical trials.

Glioblastoma Treatment

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