The Stony Brook Neuro-Oncology Center is a collaborative effort amongst our neurology, neurosurgery, pathology, medical oncology, radiation oncology, and neuroradiology experts. Led by Co-Directors, Agnes Kowalska, MD, and Charles Mikell, MD, our team provides complete care for primary and metastatic brain and spinal cord tumors, skull base tumors, pituitary tumors, tumors of the nerve sheath as well as neurological complications of cancer. We offer high quality outpatient and inpatient care for our patients utilizing the most technologically advanced diagnostic and treatment options.
We understand that the possibility of a cancer diagnosis can be overwhelming and cause anxiety. That's why we strive to provide a helping hand and a comfortable environment for you and your family.
The Stony Brook Difference
Our multidisciplinary approach is unique and increases your chances of successful treatment. Over the course of your first three to four weeks with us, you will have a series of diagnostic tests such as computed tomography (CT) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans so we can evaluate your specific case and gain a deep understanding of your situation. As part of evaluating your case, you may undergo a scan and a biopsy, where we remove a cell sample for analysis. You may then see physicians from multiple specialties, including neurosurgery, neurology, and radiation oncology. Together, they will map out a treatment plan tailored to your needs and best outcomes.
A treatment plan may include a combination of medication, surgery, radiation, and chemotherapy. Radiation uses ionizing radiation, a form of targeted energy, to destroy cancer cells. We offer stereotactic radiosurgery, which delivers a specialized, highly precise type of radiation to brain tumors during a non-invasive procedure. We use a state-of-the-art linear accelerator-based system called LINAC.
This technique has high success rates with both benign and cancerous tumors and in patients with more than one tumor or condition. Minimally invasive procedures like these are based on image guidance and tiny incisions, and are often preferred to open surgeries, as they reduce pain, recovery time, and the risk of infection and complication. At Stony Brook Medicine, we offer both approaches.
Chemotherapy is another cornerstone of cancer treatment, and involves the administration of liquid cancer-fighting drugs through your veins (known as intravenous). We offer the most advanced therapies, including intracarotid (through the carotid artery in the neck) cisplatin, which has been extremely effective for our patients. Our chemotherapy suite is equipped with comfortable recliners, large-screen TVs, and a friendly, caring staff of nurses. Someone is always available to answer questions or simply to talk.
At Stony Brook Medicine, we value research highly. It contributes to the advancement of the field, and gives qualified patients access to the most cutting-edge treatment options. As a patient here, you may have the opportunity to participate in a wide range of clinical trials, offering you a therapeutic potential not available elsewhere.
We value education as well, and offer you and your family a variety of support groups, facilitated meetings, and reading materials covering many topics, including diet and nutrition. Our physicians are involved in training the neuro-oncology physicians of the future and as expert academicians, they are invited to give lectures frequently at medical institutions across the country. Our goal is to empower you to be an active partner in your care and understand all aspects of your condition.
Awards and Accreditations
Stony Brook Medicine received full three-year accreditation by the American College of Surgeons' Commission on Cancer as a Teaching Hospital Level Accredited Cancer Program for 2008 through 2011, and also earned the Commission on Cancer's Outstanding Achievement Award.