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Your nerve cells, including the ones in your brain and spinal cord, are surrounded by support cells called glial cells. Glial cells help hold nerve cells together. While the term "glioma" includes all tumors that originate from any type of glial cell, including oligodendroglia, ependymal cells, Schwann cells, and microglia, it is commonly used to describe only astrocytic tumors.

Though they respond differently to treatments, glioma tends to cause similar symptoms, such as:

  • Balance problems
  • Changes in vision
  • Headache
  • Memory loss
  • Personality changes
  • Seizures
  • Speech problems
  • Trouble with cognitive function

The expert, multidisciplinary teams at the Sylvester Brain Tumor Institute treat all types of glioma. We provide advanced care, using the latest research to design personalized treatment for each patient.


Neurological Exam
Your doctor may perform a neurological exam to test balance, vision, and other aspects of your brain health. These tests can help determine if you may have a brain tumor.

Computerized Tomography (CT) Scan
A CT scan is an X-ray of your brain that doctors can view in individual slices to identify any gliomas.

Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)
An MRI is an imaging scan of your brain that uses no radiation, but creates a highly detailed image of your brain.

Positron Emission Tomography (PET) scan
PET scans use special dyes and radioactive materials to locate cancer cells throughout the body, including in the brain.

A neurosurgeon can remove tumor cells to study in a lab. Your surgeon may use a specialized needle to remove cells or may remove cells during a surgery to remove the entire brain tumor.


If possible, a neurosurgeon will remove all or part of the glioma during brain surgery. They may use different techniques, including open brain surgery or minimally invasive brain surgery, depending on the location and size of the tumor.

Whole-Brain Radiation Therapy
Precisely aimed radiation therapy can shrink tumors by destroying tumor cells. You may need multiple radiation therapy treatments to be effective.

Gamma Knife® Radiosurgery
During Gamma Knife® radiosurgery, multiple weak beams of radiation are pointed at your brain tumor. Where all the beams meet, there is strong radiation. You may need only one radiosurgery treatment to destroy glioma tumors.

Clinical Trials
At the Sylvester Brain Tumor Institute, we provide access to the latest experimental treatments through clinical trials. These treatments give you additional treatment options if your cancer does not respond to other treatments.

Why Choose Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center?

Sylvester is an NCI-designated cancer center. The National Cancer Institute has recognized Sylvester for its outstanding work conducting research in its laboratories, treating patients in its clinics and hospitals, and reaching out to medically underserved communities with innovative prevention strategies.

Groundbreaking brain tumor treatment. Experts from Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center and UHealth make up one of the largest and most complete teams for brain tumor treatment in the United States. Through multi-disciplinary cooperation, our team employs innovative procedures like awake craniotomies, Gamma Knife® radiosurgery, and many other techniques. We use the least invasive neurosurgical techniques on both adults and children, which reduces recovery time and makes a significant difference in your quality of life.

Dedicated brain tumor experts. Your care team consists of specialized physicians and researchers who are committed to brain tumor care. Your team may include neurosurgeons, neuro-oncologists, radiation oncologists, neuropathologists, and other physicians who focus solely on treating brain tumors. Their years of experience and expertise help you find the right treatment for you.

Innovative research that changes the future of brain tumor care. As the only academic medical center in the area, we are on the cutting edge of brain tumor treatment and research. As a patient, you also have access to the innovative research and the latest in clinical trials. Our ongoing translational and clinical research has spawned promising treatments like the heat shock protein vaccine and targeted therapies designed for your specific type of brain tumor.

International leaders in brain tumor care. We play a vital role in the community, thanks to our groundbreaking research and patient care for people in Florida, the Caribbean, and Central and South America. We’re turning Miami into the healthcare capital of the Americas. We’re creating one of the premier brain tumor centers in the country.

Surgical expertise. We perform thousands of brain tumor surgeries every year and care for more brain tumors than any other health center in Florida. Our skilled neurosurgeons are consistently pioneering new treatments. From minimally invasive spine surgeries to awake craniotomies, we offer unique surgeries you cannot find anywhere else in the region.

Concierge service. Patients do not have to figure it all out alone. Patients are assigned a concierge coordinator who is there for you and your family while you are in our care. They connect you with other providers you may need, walk you through the surgery process, and can answer any questions you or your family may have.

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