The outlook for patients with tumors of the spinal cord and spinal column has significantly improved with advances in treatments. Surgeons at the UCSF Spine Center use innovative surgical techniques, including one called “en bloc spondylectomy,” to completely remove certain spinal tumors in single pieces, which prevents the spread of tumor cells in the spinal area. In addition, a UCSF surgeon pioneered a technique to remove spinal canal and spinal cord tumors in a way to prevent post surgery neurological problems such as arm and leg weakness.
Our specialists see patients from throughout Northern California and have developed expertise in managing rare and difficult to treat cancers. At UCSF, patients have access not only to experienced spine cancer specialists, but also to advanced treatments and new therapies, some of which are first available only at academic medical centers like UCSF Medical Center with extensive research capabilities.
As part of our state-of-the-art care, a monthly Spine Tumor Board is held to review challenging cases involving primary tumors of the spine and tumors that have spread to the spine from other parts of the body.
Another service is the Spine Centers’ rapid multidisciplinary case review for urgent conditions that cannot wait for review at the monthly Tumor Board. Through this rapid case review, patient cases are evaluated within 48 hours of submission.
Our patients also have access to the UCSF Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center at Mount Zion, the only center in Northern California to receive the prestigious designation of “comprehensive” from the National Cancer Institute. Our state-of-the-art outpatient center provides one-stop care — from beautifully designed clinics to a “Cancer Resource Center” for education and support. With new facilities, expanded programs and innovative research, we help spine cancer patients live longer and fuller lives.