Brain tumors are abnormal growths in the brain, skull base, cerebrospinal fluid or spinal cord. Brain tumors may cause a variety of symptoms, such as motor and bodily coordination defects, speech impairment, memory loss, dizziness and vomiting, problems with the vital senses such as sight and hearing, persistent headaches, paralysis, emotional and character changes, and loss of cognitive functions.
Primary tumors originate in the central nervous system or brain, while metastases in the brain are malignant growths seeded from cancer elsewhere in the body. The majority of brain tumors are metastases of breast, lung and malignant skin cancer. Primary brain tumors mostly originate from the brain’s supportive tissue (glia cells); these types of tumors are called gliomas. Other frequent occurring primary brain tumors are meningiomas, these are mostly slowly growing tumors that can be removed by surgery or efficiently treated by radiation therapy, including modern precise modalities such as radiosurgery or Cyberknife treatment.
Why choose for treatment at the Brain Tumor Center at Erasmus Medical Centre in the Netherlands?
The Erasmus MC is the largest tertiary care and academic hospital in the Netherlands. Its Brain Tumor Center is the first of its kind in the Netherlands, and was opened in January of 2013 by the Dutch Minister of Health. It is currently the workplace of more than 30 specialists in the fields of neurosurgery, neurology, oncology, pathology and radiology. We also house a highly specialized group of specialists treating pediatric brain tumors.
What we do at the Brain Tumor Center at Erasmus MC
We at the Brain Tumor Center are committed to fulfil your needs regarding neurosurgical and oncological treatments with the highly skilled and experienced physicians and medical staff at the Erasmus MC hospital. Our center houses the most advanced and modern technologies and techniques for diagnostics, surgery, radiotherapy and medicinal treatment. Our mission is the improvement of the quality of life and survival of brain tumor patients by providing multidisciplinary and specialist health care and treatment.
All patients are treated according to a personalized treatment plan, which we set up during comprehensive patient board meetings with all the clinical specialists who contribute to the patient’s diagnosis, treatment and recovery. Our specialized nurses ensure that continuity is maintained throughout the multidisciplinary process, which often involves multidisciplinary care. We ensure quality care through the implementation of a treatment evaluation program for each patient, by which we asses and reassess patient outcomes throughout the treatment trajectory.
Our center combines all the available knowledge and expertise from the Neurosurgery, Neurology, Radiotherapy, Neuroradiology, Pathology, Oncology, Pediatrics, Endocrinology, Rehabilitation Medicine and Psychosocial &Psychiatry departments. Next to that there is an extensive group of medical biologists and doctors involved in basic and translational research.
We treat :
- Meningioma, including skull base tumors
- Low-grade glioma
- High-grade glioma: glioblastoma, anaplastic glioma
- Brain metastases of cancer from other body parts
- Tumors of the pituitary gland
- Germ cell tumors; seminoma
- Primary central nervous system lymphoma
- Cavernous hemangioma
Of course, you can always contact us for treatment of any type of benign or malignant tumor of the central nervous system!
Our treatments include brain surgery, radiotherapy, chemotherapy and experimental medicine. Our center works closely with Ear, Nose and Throat (ENT) physicians and surgeons of other disciplines when necessary.
Our neurosurgery unit has specialized teams for parenchymal tumors, i.e. tumors within the brain-tissue and tumors around or underneath the brain, such as vestibular schwannomas, pituitary tumors and skull base meningiomas. The Skull Base Center has a multidisciplinary team of highly trained microsurgeons and radiation-oncologists specialized in ultra-precise radiation techniques such as stereotactic radiosurgery and Cyberknife surgery. For more information on special radiosurgery and radiation therapy, please visit our Radiotherapy- Innovative Treatment Modules page.
Radiation therapy refers to a variety of radiation- based treatments which aim to damage tumor cells as much as possible, so that the growth of the tumor is halted or slowed down. In some cases, the tumor may disappear completely. For extensive information on radiation therapy options at the Erasmus MC, please visit our Radiotherapy page.
Chemotherapy is used as a medical intervention in most malignancies which respond efficaciously to this treatment option. Variables that play a role in your doctor’s decision to provide chemotherapy include the type of tumor and your physical condition.
Our chemotherapy intervention schemes include, but are not limited to PCV (procarbazine, CCNU (lomustine) and vincristine), temozolomide, cytarabine and MBVP.
Psychosocial care and support
We provide ongoing psychosocial support to the patient, which includes guidance throughout the diagnosis and treatment, as well as a rehabilitation program after treatment cessation. We also offer cognitive rehabilitation to patients who experience changes in their thoughts, character, behaviour and emotions after having been diagnosed with a brain tumor.
More about the Brain Tumor Center at Erasmus MC
In order to ensure that our patients at the Brain Tumor Centre receive the most comprehensive care, we have established a multidisciplinary team of more than 30 neurosurgeons, oncologists, pathologists neurologists, radiotherapists, radiologists and specialized nurses, who work together to offer an optimal personalized treatment path for each patient.
Our Medical Expertise
Our centre conducts fundamental and translational research as well as phase 1 and large international clinical studies in order to improve the knowledge on, and treatment of brain tumors. Brain tumors are relatively rare types of malignancies ; therefore, gathering and bundling of knowledge from all over the world is necessary in coming to new, more efficacious treatment options.
We are currently conducting several clinical studies and are also contributing to different other types of cancerresearch. Examples of our projects include those in experimental medicine, new operation techniques, new therapies, and fundamental research on cancer cells, genes and proteins.