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Brain Tumor Center

A collaboration of Norton Neuroscience Institute and Norton Cancer Institute

The National Cancer Institute estimates that more than 22,000 people in the United States are diagnosed with primary brain tumors each year, while brain metastases affect over 170,000 patients annually. Learning you have a brain tumor can change your life and the lives of your loved ones. That's why specialists with Norton Neuroscience Institute and Norton Cancer Institute have joined forces to develop the region's only comprehensive Brain Tumor Center.

The Brain Tumor Center combines the clinical expertise of specialists who are highly trained at leading research institutions with tailored support services to provide patients with one convenient location for all their treatment needs – physical, emotional and spiritual. Our team includes a neurosurgeon, radiation oncologist, neuro-oncologist, behavioral oncologist and patient navigator who work collaboratively to diagnose, treat and provide support to patients and their families.

Types of tumors we treat

At the Brain Tumor Center, patients work alongside a neuro-oncologist, neurosurgeon and radiation oncologist to determine a care plan that best meets their individual needs. The care plan may include surgery, radiation therapy, chemotherapy or an individualized combination of these. The choice of treatment may depend on the following:

  • The type and grade of brain tumor
  • Tumor location in the brain
  • Tumor size
  • Patient's age and general health
  • If there are tumors elsewhere in the body

Conditions treated:

  • Benign brain tumors
  • Benign spine and spinal cord tumors
  • Malignant brain tumors
  • Malignant spine and spinal cord tumors
  • Metastatic brain tumors
  • Pituitary tumors
  • Skull base tumors

Information about brain tumors in children

Brain Tumor Center patient Barbara Fendley is among the first to try a new and unique treatment now available to patients with certain kinds of brain tumors. It's called the Novo TTF. It's a portable, noninvasive, battery-operated device which attaches to the patient’s head to deliver low dose electromagnetic fields to the tumor site.

David A. Sun, M.D., Ph.D., and Bradley S. Folley, Ph.D., ABPP, with Norton Healthcare's Neuroscience Institute perform an awake craniotomy surgery, also known as an awake brain tumor surgery. Patients who undergo this surgery usually need a brain tumor removed. The team leaves the patient awake to make sure they're not removing areas of the brain that are essential for speech and other motor skills. They discuss the process and the benefits.

Amber Rice suffered from seizures during her pregnancy and learned she had a brain tumor. Amber shares her experience with having an awake brain tumor surgery and her progress.

Advanced procedures and treatments

The physicians with the Brain Tumor Center are trained to provide the latest, most advanced treatment options available, including:

  • Computer-assisted stereotactic surgery: A sophisticated stealth image-guided system accurately pinpoints the exact location of tumors (or other brain and spine diseases).
  • Evoked potentials: During surgery, this test uses small electrodes to stimulate a nerve so surgeons can measure its electrical response (evoked potential). This helps the surgeon preserve the nerve or prevent nerve damage.
  • Microsurgery: The surgeon views the surgical area through a high-powered microscope, so as much tumor tissue as possible is removed and healthy tissue is left untouched.
  • Ultrasonic aspirators: The vibrations from sound waves are used to break up the tumor. Any fragments are aspirated, or "swept up," much like a vacuum.

Advanced clinical trials

The Brain Tumor Center may be able to provide advanced, leading-edge treatments and clinical trials without patients and families having to leave the Louisville area. Many innovative National Cancer Institute and industry-sponsored clinical trials are available through Norton Cancer Institute. As a top-enrolling site in innovative industry-sponsored studies, Norton Cancer Institute has made remarkable strides and discoveries through participation in such trials. These breakthroughs hold promise for patients by improving the ability of our cancer specialists to target and detect cancers early, while they are the most curable.

Support services

Norton Cancer Institute Resource Centers
Three area Norton Cancer Institute Resource Centers provide comfort, support and information at no cost to patients and families. Services include:

  • Community groups to provide emotional support and educational counseling
  • Free classes and seminars by leading professionals on cancer-related topics
  • Private educational sessions with oncology-certified nurses
  • Massage therapy
  • Art therapy
  • Nutritional counseling
  • Wigs/turbans
  • Clinical trial searches
  • Lending library

Neuro-oncology patient navigator
Every patient diagnosed with a brain, spine or pituitary tumor is provided with the services of our neuro-oncology patient navigator program. This unique program was developed to assist patients and their families with the challenges that come with a tumor diagnosis. Our patient navigator is a registered nurse who acts as an advocate for patients and families and provides information and support through diagnosis, treatment and beyond. Patient navigator services are free and available as often as needed by patients and families.

Behavioral oncology
Norton Cancer Institute's Behavioral Oncology Program is designed to provide supportive, emotional and psychological care for patients diagnosed with brain tumors and their families. Professional counseling is provided by a specially trained nurse practitioner who works to alleviate the stress that comes along with a cancer diagnosis. Through interactions with the counselor, patients learn coping techniques to guide them through this challenging time.

Oral pharmacy services
The oral pharmacy offers specialized expertise, integrated support programs and convenient access to prescriptions. Special services include pharmacist consultations and a toll-free number for questions, individually tailored therapies, a refill reminder program and 24- to 72-hour mail delivery of medications. The oral pharmacy also offers follow-up treatment counseling and help with applying for financial assistance.

Financial counseling
Because the Brain Tumor Center is part of Norton Healthcare, it is guided by the same faith-based mission of caring for the sick and injured in the community. This care includes helping patients make arrangements to pay their bills in a compassionate, friendly way. We understand that making financial arrangements for health care services can be stressful, and we are committed to ensuring your peace of mind.

The Brain Tumor Center is located on the second floor of the Norton Cancer Institute building at 676 S. Floyd St. (corner of Broadway and Floyd Street)

For more information or to schedule an appointment, call the Brain Tumor Center at (502) 629-2515.

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