Central Nervous System Tumors

Director:  Joseph Contessa, MD, PhD

Radiation therapy is often indicated in the management of Central Nervous System (CNS) tumors. CNS tumors treated with radiation include both low and high grade gliomas, meningiomas, ependymomas, germ cell tumors, and pituitary adenomas. Additional information on different types of CNS tumors is available through the Yale Brain Tumor Center

Radiation therapy is part of the multidisciplinary and multimodality approach to managing CNS tumors and may be prescribed to prevent or significantly delay tumor recurrence. Patients receive an individualized consultation from a radiation oncologist and recommendations are provided after review at a dedicated CNS tumor board consisting of radiation oncologists, neuro-oncologists, neurosurgeons, pathologists, and radiologists.

At Yale several state of the art technologies for image registration, treatment planning, immobilization, treatment planning and treatment verification are routinely employed to optimize individualize delivery of radiation therapy for CNS tumors. These include Varian planning software, Exactrac immobilization and verification systems, as well as Varian/Novalis and TruBeam linear accelerators. These technologies enhance rapid and precise delivery of daily fractionated standard or intensity modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) prescriptions.

The CNS group also develops investigator initiated clinical trials or participates in cooperative group trials for patients with CNS tumors. Additional information on open trials for CNS tumors can be found in the Therapeutic Radiology trials section.