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Brain Tumors

Peter O'Donnell Jr. Brain Institute

At UT Southwestern Medical Center, dedicated physicians, surgeons, and scientists have created interconnecting programs to provide patients with the best treatments available for brain and pituitary tumors and to develop better treatments for tumors that cannot yet be cured or controlled. We specialize in care for both benign and malignant tumors.

Brain tumor specialists at UT Southwestern
Drs. Toral Patel, Brue Mickey, and Samuel Barnett lead the adult neurosurgery component of our seven Centers of Excellence.

Seven Centers of Excellence for Brain Tumor Care

Our brain tumor specialists have established seven Centers of Excellence to provide patients with comprehensive treatment strategies, working to achieve the best possible result for each patient.

The surgeons at our seven centers strive to completely remove each tumor. In cases where complete removal with surgery is not possible, we work with colleagues in radiation oncology and neuro-oncology to determine whether the tumor might be controlled with targeted radiation or chemotherapy. Our goal is to restore normal, productive lives to as many patients as possible.

Physicians and surgeons directly involved in the treatment of brain and pituitary tumors are supported by colleagues in the disciplines of neuroradiology, neuropathology, neuropsychology, and physical medicine and rehabilitation, and by a large team of experienced nurses, nurse practitioners, and physician assistants. Everyone involved in this effort shares the goal of providing the best outcome possible for each patient.

Experience Matters

Patients who undergo treatment at hospitals with high volumes of brain tumor operations experience fewer surgical complications and better outcomes than those receiving care at facilities with lower volumes. In 2016 alone, UT Southwestern surgeons performed 321 adult brain tumor operations.

Centers of Excellence

Our Brain Tumor Centers of Excellence include:

Treatment for Brain Tumors


The surgical removal of a brain or pituitary tumor is often the initial step in its management. The goals of surgery include providing an exact diagnosis, relieving symptoms caused by pressure on surrounding structures, and, when possible, providing a lasting cure. Our surgeons are experienced in all of the surgical procedures available to treat brain and pituitary tumors, and we strive to use the least invasive approach possible.

Radiation Therapy and Radiosurgery

Radiation can effectively treat both benign and malignant brain and pituitary tumors. The Department of Radiation Oncology at UT Southwestern uses a wide range of sophisticated techniques to maximize the likelihood of controlling tumor growth and minimize the risk of injury to normal parts of the brain near the tumor.

We have the only Gamma Knife Icon in the Dallas–Ft. Worth Metroplex, as well as the latest-generation CyberKnife, both of which are devices for delivering highly focused radiation to brain and pituitary tumors.


Chemotherapy might be required to treat malignant brain tumors. Our three neuro-oncologists are experienced in tailoring chemotherapy regimens to provide the best chance of controlling a tumor with the least risk and discomfort for the patient.  

As part of the Annette G. Strauss Center for Neuro-Oncology, we also provide access to a number of clinical trials and research programs dedicated to providing better and more effective treatment options for patients in the future. Search forbrain tumor clinical trials.


For some tumors, especially those that are discovered by chance on MRI or CT scans taken to evaluate unrelated symptoms, a period of observation is often recommended prior to treatment recommendation. Observation is also often the best management of small tumor fragments left after surgery. Almost all brain and pituitary tumor patients undergo repeated MRI scans after treatment to observe for the possible recurrence of their tumors.

Only Gamma Knife Icon in the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex

With Gamma Knife, we can reach deep-seated brain lesions and skull base tumors more easily. And you need only one treatment. 

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