Why Choose Our Brain Tumor & Neuro-Oncology Center?
Cleveland Clinic’s Rose Ella Burkhardt Brain Tumor and Neuro-Oncology Center is one of the largest, most comprehensive and specialized brain and spine tumor programs in the country. Our main mission is to give our patients hope for improved quality of life through the treatment of brain and spine tumors while moving forward toward a cure. We accomplish this through:
- A comprehensive team approach: The Burkhardt Brain Tumor & Neuro-Oncology Center delivers care and treatment to brain and spine tumor patients using an integrated team approach that involves close collaboration with the Cleveland Clinic Cancer Center, as well as a vast team of researchers, clinical care coordinators and nurses, working together to offer the best-personalized science and technology, one patient at a time.
- Advanced treatment for our patients: Our brain and spine tumor specialists, working in partnership with cancer specialists from Cleveland Clinic's Cancer Center, offer a full range of advanced and personalized treatment options for adults and children with spinal cord and brain tumors, including:
- Innovative surgical options
- Targeted radiosurgery
- Groundbreaking clinical trials
- Cutting-edge research: Our researchers are at the forefront of medical investigation to determine what causes brain and spine tumors and the best way to treat them with minimal side effects. Our clinicians not only strive to find and use the best combination of current treatments for each patient but, in collaboration with our researchers, they are actively developing new treatments. Learn more about our research.
View a summary of our treatment success rates for brain and spine tumors, including data on patient volume.
What We Treat
Diseases and Conditions
- Gliomas Tumors
- Glioblastoma Tumors
- Metastatic Tumors
- Pediatric Tumors
- Pituitary Tumors
- Lymphomas Tumors
- Skull Base Tumors
- Spinal Tumors
Diagnostics and Testings
- CT imaging of the brain and spine
- MR imaging of the brain and spine including MR perfusion and CSF flow and CSF leak studies
- Functional MR imaging
- Diffusion Tensor imaging
- MR spectroscopy
- Lumbar puncture
- Image-guided percutaneous biopsy
- Diagnostic Angiography
- Carotid Ultrasound
- Transcranial Doppler
- PET, CT and PET MR imaging
- Bone Scan and other Nuclear Medicine examinations
Treatments and Services
Appointments & Locations
Make an Appointment
For our patients' convenience, the Rose Ella Burkhardt Brain Tumor and Neuro-Oncology Center offers same day or next day appointments at Cleveland Clinic main campus. To make an appointment please call 216.636.5860 or toll free at 866.588.2264.
For clinical trials information please call 866.223.8100.
New and existing patients can receive an initial evaluation or follow-up care from a Brain Tumor Center specialist from the comfort and convenience of home using our MyClevelandClinic tool. Benefits of choosing this appointment option include no travel or parking, less waiting, significant time savings and the convenience of seeing a specialist from wherever you choose. If you would like to use MyClevelandClinic for your or a loved one’s Brain Tumor Center appointment, please call 216.636.5860 or your Brain Tumor Center provider’s office. Our team will schedule your virtual visit and provide details on the visit cost and setup instructions.
Patient Assistance Programs
Programs called PAPs (Patient Assistance Programs) provide free or low-cost prescription medicine to low-income people who are uninsured or under-insured and meet the guidelines. Most medicines are provided by the pharmaceutical companies who manufacture the medicine.
NeedyMeds – NeedyMeds is a 501(3)(c) non-profit with the mission of helping people who cannot afford medicine or healthcare costs. The information at NeedyMeds is available anonymously and free of charge.
If you are interested in AutoLITT/NeuroBlate as a treatment option for you or someone you love, please contact us at our dedicated AutoLITT/NeuroBlate phone line to arrange a consultation with a Burkhardt Brain Tumor Center physician.
Please call us locally at 216.636.5392 or toll-free at 888.273.1409.
MyChart connects you to your health care team from the comfort and safety of home. With this secure, online tool you can manage your appointments and complete pre-visit tasks, communicate with your providers, and keep track of your test results and medications.
Research & Clinical Trials
Brain Tumor Research
Advancing the care of brain tumor patients begins with a better understanding of the causes and mechanisms of tumor development. Basic science research efforts at the Rose Ella Burkhardt Brain Tumor and Neuro-Oncology Center are focused on identifying the genetic, cellular, and molecular biology of malignant and benign brain tumors, and investigating the mechanisms of tumor formation. This enhanced understanding of tumor biology can lead to new therapeutic developments of brain tumor treatment.
The novel treatment strategies being investigated at Burkhardt Brain Tumor Center involve immunotherapy, targeting angiogenesis or using targeted therapies to attack the dysregulated or altered genetic changes that occur in tumor cells. Immunotherapy is a form of treatment that harnesses a person's immune system to fight diseases like cancer.
One example of the promising research being conducted by the Burkhardt Brain Tumor Center researchers and physicians involves further investigation of the process of apoptosis, or programmed cell death, as it presents in brain tumor cells.
Normally, when a cell acquires DNA damage that it cannot repair properly, the cell should eliminate itself through the process of apoptosis. Tumors result, in part, when genetic mutations occur and the apoptosis mechanism fails to eliminate the cell. Institute researchers are studying the mechanisms by which brain tumor cells have eliminated their ability to undergo apoptosis.
Cleveland Clinic researchers are also working to identify genes that could serve as molecular diagnostic and/or prognostic indicators, or potential therapeutic targets for glioblastoma and other gliomas. By enhancing the detailed understanding of the structure of tumor cells and the mechanisms that control their growth, researchers are striving to identify therapeutic agents that show the greatest promise to address individual tumor types, such as glioblastoma.
This research is coordinated through the Burkhardt Brain Tumor Center and the Lerner Research Institute and includes efforts in the Departments of Molecular Biology, Cancer Biology, Neuroscience and the Center for Surgical Research.
Brain tumor clinical trials are designed to identify treatments that are potentially more effective and/or have fewer side effects than standard brain tumor treatments. Clinical trials are recommended for patients with tumors where results of treatment are generally poor, or that are considered incurable with conventional treatment. Clinical trials also are recommended for most pediatric patients with brain tumors.
Rose Ella Burkhardt Brain Tumor and Neuro-Oncology Center patients have access to numerous brain tumor clinical trials, many designed by Cleveland Clinic physicians, others as a part of multi-center trials in partnership with pharmaceutical companies or research consortia to further the care of brain tumor patients. The Burkhardt Brain Tumor Center actively participates in several of these clinical trial groups, including:
- Adult Brain Tumor Consortium (ABTC)
- Southwest Oncology Group (SWOG)
- Brain Tumor Trials Collaborative (BTTC)
- NRG Oncology
- Ohio Clinical Trials Collaborative (OCTC)
- American College of Surgeons Oncology Group (AcoSOG)
- Children's Oncology Group (COG)
These associations contribute to the exciting environment of clinical trial research and development, discussion and the sharing of data that is so important to the dynamic evolution of the therapeutic protocols of tomorrow's brain tumor treatments.
The medical therapy based clinical trials focus on immunotherapy, other approaches that target the DNA replication of the tumor as well as the blood supply of the tumor. Novel drugs that target the dysfunctional or altered genetic pathways are often an area of active investigation in these clinical trials.
Ongoing surgical clinical trials are investigating the effectiveness of new approaches of specially designed laser probe to heat and destroy brain.
The Cancer Answer Line: 866.CCF.8100 (866.223.8100)
For Medical Professionals
Refer a Patient
The Rose Ella Burkhardt Brain Tumor & Neuro-Oncology Center offers direct referral lines to ease the process of making a patient referral.
To refer a patient to the Neurological Institute via phone, please call our dedicated physician referral hotline at 216.445.8455. An intake coordinator will handle your call directly. If you are unable to reach an intake coordinator, please leave a message and they will return your call within the work day (if left before 1 p.m. ET) or the next work day (if left after 1 p.m. ET).
To refer a patient to the Neurological Institute via fax, please download and complete our physician referral form and fax to 216.636.2596.
Stay connected to patients you refer to Cleveland Clinic through online updates and electronic medical records.
Residency and Fellowship Programs
- The Burkhardt Brain Tumor & Neuro-Oncology Center has a long-standing tradition of training future leaders in the field of neuro-oncology and neurosurgery. Learn more about residency and fellowship opportunities available through Cleveland Clinic’s Burkhardt Brain Tumor & Neuro-Oncology Center: Neurosurgery Residency Program
- Neurosurgery Fellowships
- Neuro-Oncology Fellowship
The Cleveland Clinic Foundation alumni represent a vital constituency of physicians and scientists throughout the world who reflect the institution's commitment to excellence. The Cleveland Clinic Foundation is committed to continue serving as a resource to its alumni in their post-residency years by providing access to information and programmatic support necessary to assure their professional growth and success. The goal of these efforts is to bolster the bond between the institution and its alumni and create an atmosphere that encourages a commitment among alumni to offer support for, and to participate in the life of the institution.
Please keep in contact!
We want to stay on top of significant changes in your life. Have you moved? Taken on a teaching position? Received an academic promotion or professional recognition? Decided to retire? Have an interesting hobby or avocation you'd like to share? Your former CCF colleagues really want to know what you are up to. Please keep us informed and send photos! [email protected]
National Medical Meeting Receptions
The Cleveland Clinic Foundation Alumni Association together with the Departments of Neurology and Neurosurgery are pleased to sponsor alumni gatherings at the following major national medical meetings and other special events. All local alumni, as well as those attending the meetings, are cordially invited to these Alumni gatherings along with their spouse/companion.
Brain Tumor Support Group
The Burkhardt Brain Tumor & Neuro-Oncology Center team realizes you may have concerns about how a brain tumor may affect your family, your job or your ability to carry out other daily activities. You are not alone, and we have found our Brain Tumor Support Group to be helpful in dealing with these concerns. This group provides the opportunity to share experiences and to socialize with others in similar situations. An advanced practice provider and social worker assist the group, provide information and answer questions regarding treatments, medications, resources and other important issues.
Join us in a virtual meeting on the Zoom platform from 5 p.m. - 6 p.m. every 4th Tuesday, August through November for our 2021 brain tumor support group. Specifics are as follows:
- When: August 24, September 28, October 26 and November 23, 2021 from 5 p.m. - 6 p.m.
- Where: Zoom Virtual Meeting - contact the Burkhardt Brain Tumor Center at 216.636.0007, option 2 for login details.
- Who: Open to all patients with brain tumors and their family members and friends.
For more information, please call 216.636.0007, option 2.
Have you been diagnosed with cancer?
You should and know the facts about brain metastases. Brain metastases are treatable, but early detection is critical. Know the signs.
Know The Facts - B is for Brain
More than one million Americans are diagnosed with cancer every year. Approximately one-quarter of these individuals will develop metastatic brain tumors during the course of their illness. If you or a loved one have cancer, be aware of the symptoms of brain metastasis and the available treatment options.
What is primary cancer?
Cancer can form in any organ or tissue in the body. The original tumor that forms is considered the primary cancer or primary tumor.
What is metastasis and how does it happen?
Metastasis means secondary cancerous growth formed by the movement of cancerous cells from a primary growth located elsewhere in the body. Cancer cells can break away from a primary tumor and enter the body’s bloodstream. This is the way in which cancer cells spread to other parts of the body.
When cancer cells spread and form a new tumor in a different organ, the new tumor is called a metastatic tumor. The cells in the metastatic tumor come from the original tumor. This means, for example, that if breast cancer spreads to the brain the metastatic tumor in the brain consists of cancerous breast cells (not brain cells). In this example, the tumor in the brain is metastatic breast cancer and not brain cancer.
Are certain primary cancers more likely than others to result in a brain metastasis?
Recent studies indicate that the most common origins of brain metastasis are cancers of the lung, breast, skin, kidney and colon.
What Symptoms to Look For
Like with most cancer diagnosis, early detection is key. Know the symptoms and talk to your oncologist about any abnormal changes that you experience.
Metastatic brain tumors present with the same symptoms as a primary brain tumor. This can include:
- Vision changes such as double vision or partial blindness
- Headaches possibly with nausea
- Numbness or tingling in part of the body
- Paralysis or difficulty moving any part of the body
- Inability to walk
- Difficulties with balance and an increased incidence of falls
- Difficulty speaking, including slurring words or incoherent speech
- Problems with mental acuity such as not being able to read or tell time
- Seizure or convulsions
Though most of these symptoms are of gradual onset, severe episodes can also occur.
Treatment Options - What To Do
Just like with most cancers, early detection and diagnosis can improve treatment options and results. These options vary from patient to patient and primarily depend on location, type and extent of the disease.
What treatment options are available if I am diagnosed with a brain metastasis?
The good news is, just like many other cancers, a brain metastasis can be treated. Although radiation to the whole brain was the traditional treatment, today surgery and radiosurgery are often the treatment of choice – either alone or in combination with conventional radiation. Chemotherapy may also be used in selected cases.
Can I treat my primary tumor brain metastasis simultaneously or separately?
If there are tumors elsewhere in the body, the brain metastasis will normally be the top priority, both because brain metastasis is life threatening and because the treatment is different from and often incompatible with treatment of tumors elsewhere.
Do You Still Have Questions?
If you have questions about your specific care you should speak directly to your oncologist.
If you have general questions about cancer, Cleveland Clinic is here to help you get the cancer information you need. Please contact us via Cleveland Clinic's Cancer Answer Line toll-free 866.223.8100, Monday – Friday, 8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Two oncology clinical nurse specialists and their staff can provide information and answer questions about cancer. If desired, appointments can be scheduled with one of the expert physicians at Cleveland Clinic.
Additional Cancer Center Resources
We are dedicated to helping you face the challenges associated with your diagnosis and treatment. Listed below are some of the patient support services and programs available through Cleveland Clinic Cancer Center.