One of the most feared complications of cancer is when it involves the spine. Pain occurs when bones and nerves are affected. In severe cases, paralysis can result from spinal cord compression.

Neurosurgeons Mike Chen, M.D., Ph.D. and Rahul Jandial, M.D., Ph.D., lead the Spine Tumor Program. As a comprehensive cancer center, City of Hope offers integrated cancer care by our multidisciplinary team of medical oncologists, radiation oncologists and pain management specialists, who together create treatment plans tailored to each patient.

Reasons to be evaluated for spine tumor surgery at City of Hope:

  1. Less invasive techniques. Drs. Jandial and Chen have extensive experience using less invasive techniques for spine tumor resection. Our incisions are about half the length typically used, resulting in faster and better recoveries.
  2. Dual surgeon approach. Spine tumor surgeries are highly technical and usually time consuming affairs. We believe that these procedures merit the combined attention of two senior surgeons working together to improve outcomes and shorten the duration of the operation.
  3. A rare skill. According to the California Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development, City of Hope is possibly the busiest spine surgery center in southern California. Not all spine tumors require surgery. If, however, spinal tumor removal is of benefit to our patients (determined by a team approach of doctors, nurses, and of course, the patient), City of Hope has demonstrated success in performing operations that are not possible at other major medical institutions.

City of Hope is a nationally recognized leader in the research and treatment of spinal tumors. We are one of the few facilities designated a Comprehensive Cancer Center by the National Cancer Institute, and for over a decade, U.S. News & World Report has named City of Hope one of the top cancer hospitals in America.

Request an Appointment

If you have been diagnosed with a spinal tumor or are looking for a second opinion consultation about your treatment, request an appointment online or contact us at 800-826-HOPE. Please visit Making Your First Appointment for more information.



Care Team

City of Hope’s renowned physicians and researchers utilize the latest in technology and innovation to treat cancer, coupled with our enduring belief in providing unparalleled compassionate care. Call 800-826-HOPE or go online to request an appointment.

Christine Chang, M.D.

Clinical Specialties:

  • Interventional Pain Management
Bihong (Beth) Chen
Bihong (Beth) Chen, M.D., Ph.D.

Clinical Specialties:

  • Diagnostic Radiology
Mike Y. Chen, M.D., Ph.D.

Clinical Specialties:

  • Neurosurgery
Savita Dandapani, M.D., Ph.D.

Clinical Specialties:

  • Radiation Oncology
Jandial-Rahul 2015
Rahul Jandial, M.D., Ph.D.

Clinical Specialties:

  • Neurosurgery
John J. Park, M.D., Ph.D.

Clinical Specialties:

  • Diagnostic Radiology
Julie Ann Ressler, M.D.

Clinical Specialties:

  • Diagnostic Radiology

Tests & Treatments

Every patient is different, with different needs. At City of Hope, we treat you as a valued individual. Our entire spinal tumor team works together to bring you advanced surgery, chemotherapy, radiation and supportive care options that will deliver the best outcome for you. You can also enroll in clinical trials for promising therapies that are not offered elsewhere.

Your care continues long after treatment is completed, and we are committed to helping you and your loved ones manage your recovery.

Our treatment options for spinal tumors include:

  • Surgery, including minimally invasive surgery such as endoscopic surgery, spinal cord monitoring and advanced spine instrumentation
  • Individually customized chemotherapy regimes
  • Highly precise radiation therapy

Learn more about spinal tumors in adults »

Learn more about childhood spinal cord tumors »

Clinical Trials

City of Hope is a recognized leader in spinal tumor research. We offer access to numerous clinical trials and new therapies that are not readily available elsewhere. Our latest research includes developing more precise surgical and radiation techniques for better tumor removal, identifying better drugs that help prevent relapses and finding chemotherapy agents that are more effective against the cancer or less toxic for the patient.


City of Hope patients have access to our extensive team of supportive care experts, who will help you and your caregivers achieve improved quality of life during and after treatment of your spinal tumor. We can help with all of these concerns, and more:

Learn more about these resources at our Living with Cancer or Supportive Care Medicine sites.

Support the Spine Tumor Program

We deliver exquisite care at the leading edge of cancer treatment. It takes the help of a lot of caring people to make hope a reality for our patients. City of Hope was founded by individuals' philanthropic efforts over 100 years ago. Their efforts - and those of our supporters today - have built the foundation for the care we provide and the research we conduct.

For more information on supporting the Spine Tumors Program, please contact Julie Hara. Or, you can make a gift to support all the research at City of Hope by donating online.

An Expert's Voice

City of Hope experts cover prevention, screening, treatment and other cancer topics on City of Hope’s Breakthrough’s blog.

  • Spine tumors: 4 things you need to know February 23, 2015 | by Denise Heady
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