Cancers that begin in the spine are exceedingly rare and are diagnosed either as primary tumors — starting in the spine and surrounding structures — or metastatic tumors, which travel to brain tissue from other organs.
“I don’t think I can ever express how thankful we are to doctors Jandial and Chen and what they have done for my family. They gave us another chance. They did the impossible.”
- Joel Torres, spinal surgery patient
This year, about 25,000 people in the United States will be diagnosed with a malignant brain or spinal tumor. These numbers would be much higher if they included benign (noncancerous) tumors. Source: American Cancer Society
Brain and spinal tumors are highly complex, requiring an expert and deeply experienced team that can accurately diagnose your tumor type — so that you get the best and most effective treatment.
One of the most feared complications of cancer is when it involves the spine. A complex network of bones, nerves and arteries may be affected, and, in severe cases, spinal cord compression may lead to paralysis. Unfortunately, treatment options for spinal tumors are not always black and white for these reasons.
Getting treated for spinal tumors at City of Hope means you are steps away from labs where new cancer treatments are being developed every day. That proximity means you benefit from something unique in cancer care — bench-to-bedside treatment.
When you come to City of Hope, you automatically gain access to an unparalleled array of support services to help you and your loved ones take each step during and after spinal tumor treatment.
City of Hope is a nationally recognized leader in researching and treating spinal tumors. For over a decade, U.S. News & World Report has named City of Hope one of the top cancer hospitals in America.
- Less invasive techniques. Neurosurgeons Rahul Jandial, M.D., Ph.D., and Mike Chen, M.D., Ph.D., have extensive experience using less invasive techniques for spine tumor surgery, including incisions about half the length typically used, resulting in faster and better recoveries.
- Dual surgeon approach. Spine tumor surgeries are highly technical and usually time-consuming. Dr. Jandial and Dr. Chen perform them by working together to improve outcomes and shorten the duration of the operation.
- A rare skill. According to the California Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development, City of Hope's Duarte location is one of the busiest spine surgery centers in Southern California. Our staff has demonstrated success in performing operations that are not possible at other major medical institutions.
City of Hope offers integrated cancer care by a multidisciplinary team of medical oncologists and hematologists, radiation oncologists and pain management specialists, who create treatment plans tailored to each patient.
City of Hope is one of the few facilities designated a comprehensive cancer center by the National Cancer Institute.
Our developments in the areas of breakthrough cancer drugs, bone marrow transplants and CAR T cell therapy are recognized internationally.
Our leadership in research and innovation continually enhances our ability to provide novel and differentiated approaches to cancer care.
Bihong (Beth) Chen, M.D., Ph.D., is a radiologist and researcher with a focus in neuroimaging, neuroradiology and body interventional radiology.
A prolific researcher and talented surgeon, Mike Y. Chen, M.D., Ph.D., has been on City of Hope's neurosurgery team since 2007. He specializes in complex operations for the removal of brain and spine tumors.
Savita Dandapani, M.D., Ph.D., is a radiation oncologist at City of Hope who specializes in improving treatment outcomes and reducing side effects for cancer patients undergoing radiation therapy.
City of Hope's neurosurgeon and scientist, Rahul Jandial, M.D., Ph.D., specializes in brain, spine and spinal cord cancers.
Julie Ann Ressler, M.D., is a clinical professor in the department of diagnostic radiology.