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Brain Tumor Treatment Options

At the Gerald J. Glasser Brain Tumor Center, part of Atlantic Health System Neuroscience and Atlantic Health System Cancer Care, we treat brain tumors using individualized care plans that incorporate some of the safest and most advanced techniques available. These include cutting-edge surgical procedures like CyberKnife, as well as conformal radiation, targeted therapy and chemotherapy, fluorescent imaging, clinical therapeutic trials, palliative and supportive care, and comprehensive symptom management.


A Leading Provider of CyberKnife Radiosurgery

CyberKnife® stereotactic radiosurgery treatment

CyberKnife offers a non-invasive treatment that has improved the quality of life for thousands of patients. The radiosurgery device uses pinpoint accuracy to deliver high doses of radiation to treat tumors, without damaging surrounding healthy tissue. 

In addition to treating metastatic disease to the brain, CyberKnife has had positive results in the treatment of recurrent glioma — particularly in patients with glioblastoma, which is difficult to treat. CyberKnife can also be used to treat some complex skull base lesions that would otherwise be surgically inaccessible.


“When you have people driving 90 minutes and passing three other hospitals along the way to get here, that says a lot.”

Joana Emmolo, MD, director of radiation oncology for the Gerald J. Glasser Brain Tumor Center

Surgery Guided by Fluorescent Imaging

The Gerald J. Glasser Brain Tumor Center is one of the first providers in New Jersey to harness the power of fluorescent imaging. This advancement helps surgeons accurately remove more of a malignancy without damaging healthy tissue and impacting vital functions, such as speech and movement.

Here's how it works: A patient drinks a liquid solution prior to surgery, which casts a fluorescent glow on cancerous cells. Our surgeons use a special microscope equipped with a highly specific blue light filter to clearly view the tumor and hard-to-see edges in real time. 

This increased visibility is particularly important for removing gliomas, a common and difficult to treat type of brain tumor. Gliomas don’t have clear biological boundaries and are surrounded by what’s similar to a fog. The pink glow created by fluorescent imaging distinguishes the invading edges of the tumor from healthy tissue, which often look alike.


Other Brain Tumor Surgical Procedures

Our center treats brain tumors using a variety of minimally invasive strategies, the benefits of which include improved safety and patient outcomes, shorter hospital stays, and less blood loss and pain.

Image-guided, stereotactic volumetric craniotomy
– Surgeons use an MRI-based 3D model of the patient’s brain – much like a GPS system – to safely remove as much of a tumor as possible. For patients with medical conditions that don't allow for surgery or those with concerns about the location of the tumor, a biopsy of this nature may be done in place of traditional surgery.
Brain mapping and awake surgery
– Sometimes tumors may be located in the eloquent parts of the brain, which are the areas responsible for movement, sensation and language. In these cases, surgery may be performed with the patient awake so that speech and motor functions can be monitored throughout the operation. This approach typically involves a team specializing in neuroanesthesiology, neuroradiology, neuropsychology and epilepsy.
Minimally invasive endoscopic brain surgery
– Using stereotactic image guidance and an endoscope, which is a small fiberoptic camera, surgeons can remove tumors deep within the ventricle, or center of the brain, via small incisions. This technique can also be used to treat obstructive hydrocephalus.
Minimally invasive endoscopic pituitary and anterior skull base surgery
– Endoscopic technology allows our surgeons to access tumors in the brain and skull base through the natural openings of the face, the most common of which is the nose. This requires no incisions and results in less pain, no brain retraction and better neurological outcomes. A team of specialists, including an otolaryngology specialist and a neurosurgeon, is usually needed.
Traditional skull base surgery
– With this type of microsurgery, an incision is made behind the hairline and the bone surrounding the skull base is removed so that the surgeon can access the affected area with minimal to no brain retraction. In some cases, minimally invasive techniques and an endoscope may be used, which allows for smaller incisions via the eyebrow or eyelid.

Brain Tumor Clinical Trials and Research

As a member of the National Cancer Institute (NCI) Cooperative Group System, our brain tumor center is able to provide our patients with access to the latest cutting-edge treatments. In addition, the Atlantic Center for Research is continually exploring the use of new chemotherapeutic and molecular targeted agents and other advanced techniques that may stop growth of primary and metastatic nervous system tumors. Learn more >


They were truly concerned about both my physical and mental health...they were sensitive to the emotional consequences.

Michelle A., Brain tumor patient


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Mark prepares for CyberKnife radiosurgery

Mark L.'s Story

Faced with a benign tumor that was pressing on his cranial nerves and interfering with his quality of life, Mark L. wasn’t comfortable with his doctor’s wait-and-watch approach. So, he sought a second opinion and found help at Overlook Medical Center's Gerald J. Glasser Brain Tumor Center. 

Mark’s doctor changed his life with a noninvasive radiosurgery device called CyberKnife.® 

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