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Please note that clinic appointments may be virtual visits. The clinic team will let you know what type of appointment is appropriate for your care. Learn more about virtual visits at UHN »

 What We Do

A brain tumour is a form of cancer – a mass of abnormal cells growing in and around the brain. The tumour can be either benign, which has less risk and will grow slowly, or it can be malignant, which means it's growing rapidly and will spread throughout all of the brain's tissue. Primary brain tumours originate in the brain while secondary tumours are caused by a cancer that's travelled from another part of the body (such as breast and lung cancer).

The Toronto Western Hospital has a renowned surgical neuro-oncology program, which directly links with the Princess Margaret Cancer Centre at UHN. Our neurosurgeons can diagnose and provide surgical treatment for patients with brain tumours, while our team members at the Gerry and Nancy Pencer Brain Tumour Centre at Princess Margaret Cancer Centre provide cancer care for patients who don't need surgery.

Types of Brain Tumours

Acoustic Neuroma
This is a benign slow growing tumour of the nerve that connects the ear to the brain.

Meningioma
This cancer originates in the protective membranes around the brain and spinal cord.

Medulloblastoma
These are tumours formed from poorly developed cells at a very early stage of their life and are more common in children.

Oligodendroglioma
This type originates in cells that protect the nerve cells in the brain.​

Surgical Care for Brain Tumours

Outpatient Craniotomy
This gold standard of surgical care was pioneered at Toronto Western Hospital by world renowned neurosurgeon, Dr. Mark Bernstein. It allows surgeons to remove the tumour while preserving healthy brain tissue. After an evaluation period following surgery, patients finish their recovery at home the same day.

Gamma Knife
This is a sophisticated radiation tool that can target areas of the brain with amazing accuracy. Beams of gamma radiation deliver single doses of therapy with the precision of less than 1mm. The exposure is brief and only the tissue being treated receives a significant radiation dose, while the surrounding tissue remains unharmed. The Krembil Neuroscience Centre is home to the Joey and Toby Tanenbaum Gamma Knife Centre.

Partnership

​Neuro-oncology bridges two world-class programs at UHN: Neuroscience and Oncology. Our partnership with Princess Margaret Cancer Centre's brain tumour clinic and neuropathology brings together the best clinicians, clinician-scientists, nurses, nurse-clinicians and other support personnel for patients. We care for 200 patients with newly diagnosed primary nervous system tumours, and a thousand with secondary nervous system tumours each year. We are a national and international referral center for patients with nervous system tumours and complications of malignancy.

How to Prepare

Your first appointment can take one hour or more, but follow-up appointments usually take 15 minutes to half an hour.

Learn more about what you can expect when you have a clinic appointment.

 Materials and Resources to Help You

Visit our health information section.​​​​​​​​​​

 Meet Our Team

​​​Our team of neurosurgeons at the Krembil Neuroscience Centre has pioneered some of the surgical skills used around the world to treat patients with brain tumours.

Physicians