Brain Tumor Program: Research and Clinical Trials

UC Irvine Health brain and tumor experts are actively involved in the latest research in diagnosing and treating brain tumors. Our physicians are exploring ways to remove tumors using the least invasive methods possible while minimizing side effects and ensuring a better quality of life.

We conduct clinical trials that offer our patients access to leading-edge research studies in brain tumor care. In fact, we are the only cancer center in Orange County that is designated as a comprehensive cancer center by the National Cancer Institute (NCI).

Leading brain tumor research and clinical trials

If you are still experiencing symptoms or a tumor comes back after treatment, you may benefit from a clinical trial. Clinical trials are carefully planned studies that explore whether a new treatment will be effective. Participating in clinical trials allows you to receive leading-edge treatments years before they are available to patients at other hospitals.

Our brain tumor research and clinical trials give you access to:

  • New treatments: Our brain tumor experts lead and participate in trials for many promising new treatments, including new medications and technologies. See a list of open trials for brain tumors ›
  • Expertise: Our nationally recognized brain tumor experts represent the best and brightest in their field. Our depth of expertise helps us select from the broad range of  trials available to determine which is most effective for the tumor and your individual needs. Meet our team ›
  • Innovative research: Through innovative research efforts, our brain tumor experts are uncovering the basic science behind what causes brain tumors to grow and how to stop them. We use this information to help make treatments more effective.
  • Preventing neurologic side effects of radiation: Our experts lead groundbreaking research using neural stem cells to prevent neurologic difficulties in patients undergoing chemotherapy and radiation therapy.

Radiation therapy

Radiation therapy uses carefully targeted beams of high-energy radiation to destroy cancer cells. As part of our research in this area, we are often the first program in Orange County and surrounding communities offering new treatment technologies. These technologies are making radiation therapy safer, faster and more precise. Read more about radiation therapy ›

Our radiation therapy research interests include:

  • Improving the safety of radiation therapy for patients and the specialists who deliver them (radiation therapists)
  • Reducing the side effects of radiation exposure in normal cells
  • Using special brain cells (neural stem cells) to improve memory and thinking after radiation and chemotherapy

Neuro-oncology

Our world-renowned neuro-oncology experts are exploring ways to fight brain tumors with new medications. In addition to participating in large, multi-center trials, we also lead smaller trials for new treatments, some of which are only available through our brain tumor program. Find out more about neuro-oncology ›

Our neuro-oncology research interests include:

  • Personalized brain tumor vaccines. Learn more about immunotherapy (brain tumor vaccine) ›
  • New medications and special treatments for tumors that come back, such as glioblastomas
  • Expanding options available to patients who cannot have or do not respond to standard neuro-oncology medications

Neurosurgery

Neurosurgery is a common treatment for removing brain tumors. We have played a key role in testing new technologies and surgical instruments that make it possible to remove tumors previously considered inoperable. Learn more about expert neurosurgery ›

Our neurosurgery research interests include:

  • Expanding the field of specialized care that focuses on brain recovery and monitoring (neuro-critical care)
  • Carrying out procedures using the smallest possible incisions (minimally invasive brain surgery)
  • Improving techniques for specialized forms of neurosurgery, including skull base surgery and endoscopic pituitary surgery
  • Finding better methods for using imaging studies to plan surgeries

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. You can be seen in our offices within 48 hours after insurance approval.