Brain Tumor Program: Neuro-oncology

Your personalized brain tumor treatment plan may include neuro-oncology, which uses medications to slow the progression of brain tumors. Neuro-oncologists are physicians with special training who deliver tumor-fighting medications (chemotherapy) and other medical treatments. These specialists combine the expertise of physicians who specialize in treating cancer (oncologists) with expertise in disorders of the brain (neurologists).

UC Irvine Health neuro-oncology care includes more than chemotherapy. We offer patients in Orange County and surrounding communities unique access to leading-edge neuro-oncology care. From newly approved devices to treatments with minimal side effects, we help extend your survival with a good quality of life.

What is neuro-oncology?

Each member of our team of highly trained neuro-oncologists has completed extensive training (board certification) in treating brain tumors. Together, they have decades of experience caring for patients, including those with the most complicated brain tumors. Our goal is to stop tumors from growing and to return you back to the activities you love.

Highlights of UC Irvine Health neuro-oncology care include:

  • Brain tumor vaccine: This innovative treatment offers hope to patients whose tumors return after completing other treatments. Brain tumor vaccines harness the power of your own immune system (immunotherapy) to find and attack the tumor. Learn more about immunotherapy (brain tumor vaccine) ›
  • New targeted therapies: We offer new medications that are available only through clinical trials, such as targeted therapies. These therapies work by disrupting a tumor’s ability to grow and progress. Even if other treatments have failed, you may achieve better outcomes with targeted therapies. Learn more about clinical trials ›
  • Groundbreaking research: We are exploring new ways to use brain cells (neural stem cells) to restore thinking and memory. Many chemotherapy patients experience changes often referred to as “chemo brain,” such as having trouble with names or thinking clearly. We are leading the fight against chemo brain through innovative research efforts. Read more: Neural stem cells may alleviate chemo brain after cancer treatments ›
  • Specialized inpatient care: We are one of the few hospitals in the nation with a neuro-oncologist hospitalist dedicated to coordinating the unique in-hospital (inpatient) needs of our brain tumor patients. If you are hospitalized for any reason, our hospitalist sees you daily, which helps you get the most out of treatments while avoiding complications. Meet our team ›
  • Seamless coordination: Chemotherapy is one of many treatments you may need as a part of your treatment plan. Our neuro-oncologists work with other experts such as radiation oncologists and surgeons to coordinate the best combination of treatments for you. Learn more about brain tumor treatments ›
  • Patient support: Whether you are looking for spiritual guidance or need help getting to and from appointments, we are here for you. We offer a broad range of support services designed to relieve some of the stress that can go along with brain tumor treatment. Learn more about our patient support services ›

Neuro-oncology treatments

Our nationally recognized neuro-oncologists draw from the best available treatments to deliver personalized care for all tumor types.

Neuro-oncology treatments include:

  • Chemotherapy: Chemotherapy uses one or more drugs to destroy cancer cells. We tailor chemotherapy treatments to the type of brain tumor. Our experts also lead research to test new medications and combinations of medications, which gives us the best chance to destroy your tumor. See a list of open trials for brain tumors ›
  • NovoTTF wearable device: NovoTTF is a newly approved, wearable device that destroys cancer cells and reverses tumor growth in people who cannot have chemotherapy. The device looks like a shower cap and is lined with ceramic discs that send gentle electrical impulses to break up the tumor. Our researchers helped develop this device, making us one of the most experienced centers in delivering this treatment. Find out more: NovoTTF device may extend lives of brain tumor patients ›
  • Molecular testing and alternative chemotherapy drugs: This personalized treatment works with the help of chemotherapy drugs we typically use for other cancers. In some cases, these drugs are effective in fighting brain tumors. We examine the tumor at a molecular level to determine which drugs can meet your unique needs.
  • Brain tumor vaccine: Brain tumor vaccines offer hope to patients with brain tumors that have returned after treatment. Brain tumor vaccines harness the power of your own immune system (immunotherapy) to find and attack the tumor. Learn more about immunotherapy (brain tumor vaccine) ›

Contact us

To schedule an appointment, call 714-456-8000 or fill out an online request form. You may also send us an email.

Our 24-hour promise: If you are a new patient, one of our brain tumor physicians will return your call within 24 hours and you can be seen in our offices within 48 hours after insurance approval.