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Sparrow surgeons remove tissues from the tumor of a patient and while the surgery is still going on, a neuropathologist springs into action.

The neuropathologist, one of only a handful in Michigan, quickly provides a detailed analysis of the tumor, including its type and severity. The information is relayed to surgeons while still in the operating room, enabling them to better decide on a course of action.

That’s one of the differences at Sparrow’s Brain Tumor Center.

Using the clinical, academic and research expertise of the Sparrow Cancer Center, the area’s leading specialists and Michigan State University, the Brain Tumor Center is dedicated to the successful diagnosis, treatment and cure of brain and spinal tumors in children and adults.

The center is a multidisciplinary program involving various medical specialties, including neurosurgery, neuroradiology, neuropathology and oncology. This team works together with the patient and their family to develop the plan of care that best meets their needs. Diagnosis and treatment is handled in a single, comprehensive clinic.

The Sparrow Brain Tumor Center participates in the latest clinical trials with access to the nation’s most innovative treatments and newest drugs.

Among the tools available at the center:

  • Neuronavigational equipment generates a detailed, 3D image of the area under investigation. Surgeons can pinpoint areas needing treatment and remove tumors with precision, reducing harmful side effects, pain and recovery time for patients.
  • Radiosurgery is an important alternative to invasive surgery. It does not remove the tumor or lesion but distorts the cells’ DNA, which then lose their ability to reproduce. The treatment can minimize the amount of radiation that passes through healthy brain tissue.
  • Special diagnostic tools – with assistance from Sparrow’s diagnostic laboratories and experts at Michigan State University – accurately determine the type and extent of the tumor. Integral to the process is use of the most advanced diagnostic technology.
  • Targeted therapies are used, either alone or in combination with other treatments, such as radiation therapy. These non-chemotherapy approaches target specific characteristics of cancer cells, limiting the side effects of treatments.

The Sparrow Brain Tumor Center treats or performs, among other things:

  • Brain tumors
  • Pediatric neurosurgery
  • Pituitary tumors