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smilow cancer hospital brain tumors

Brain Tumors and Cancer

The Chênevert Family Brain Tumor Center at Smilow Cancer Hospital and Yale Cancer Center uses the most advanced surgical tools and robot-assisted machines to treat patients with cancers of the brain, spinal cord and nerves.

Our hospital takes a team approach to treating brain cancer. Leaders in the fields of neurosurgery, neurology, medical oncology, neuro-oncology, radiation oncology, neuropathology and neuroradiology work together to create customized treatment plans for each patient.

Our specialists have extensive experience with:

  • Primary brain tumors, such as glioblastomas, astrocytomas, oligodendrogliomas, primary CNS lymphomas, and others
  • Brain metastases and leptomeningeal metastases, which originate from other cancers in the body
  • Other primary tumors, such as meningiomas and schwannomas
  • Rare brain tumors including craniopharyngiomas, medulloblastomas, ependymomas pineal tumors, pituitary tumors, and others
  • All types of neurological complications of cancer and their treatments

Our brain cancer teams have developed some of the latest surgical and non-surgical techniques to treat brain tumors, brain metastases and neurological complications of cancer. All with the goal of helping patients survive – and thrive – with intact brain function.

Advanced Medicine and Technology

Smilow Cancer Hospital’s broad range of tools and treatment practices deliver precise diagnoses and more effective treatment options. We have a specialized intensive care unit just for neurological patients. Plus, we offer the latest in imaging technologies, including MRI (magnetic resonance imaging). During surgery, MRI creates accurate pictures of the brain. After surgery it’s used for language and motor skills mapping.

Our brain cancer treatments include:

  • Microsurgical tumor removal
  • Intraoperative neurophysiological monitoring
  • Image-guided stereotactic techniques
  • 3D conformal radiotherapy
  • Novel, targeted chemotherapies

3T MRI Integrated Neuro Suite

Smilow Cancer Hospital was the first in the nation to install and use the 3 Tesla MRI neuro suite by IMRIS for brain cancer treatment. This revolutionary technology provides high-quality MRI images before, during and after a neurosurgical procedure – without ever moving the patient. In addition, the neuro suite allows for biplane x-ray angiography to treat a wide range of procedures, including brain tumor resection.

Learn more about 3T MRI

Gamma Knife

The Gamma Knife is a non-invasive alternative to traditional brain surgery for malignant and benign tumors, vascular abnormalities and trigeminal neuralgia. Typically performed in a single outpatient treatment session without general anesthesia, it directs focused radiation to specific targets in the brain. This proven technique helps patients avoid surgery, scarring and long hospital stays and lessens complications.

Learn more about the Gamma Knife

National Distinction

Smilow Cancer Hospital benefits from its partnership with the nationally recognized Yale Cancer Center. The Cancer Center funds clinical trials conducted by Yale School of Medicine doctors at Smilow Cancer Hospital.

Our partnership has gained regional and national recognition for continually pushing science and technology toward a cure. Clinical trials led by the Yale Program in Brain Tumor Research focus on understanding how brain tumors form. Researchers are exploring the genetic and molecular basis of brain tumors using genetic and genomic technologies. Understanding the biology of brain tumors will allow researchers to develop targeted and individualized treatment, including more effective drug therapies.

Patient-centered Care

Our brain tumor specialists make sure to keep your doctor up to date with regular reports on how you’re doing. They will also help with second opinions and referrals.

Our clinical coordinators will support you and your family through every step of your treatment and care. They can help you get answers to your questions, learn about mind/body therapies like massage, meditation and yoga, and help you schedule and organize your appointments and treatment.


We are readily available to offer our expert opinions. To schedule an appointment or send your records for review and consultation, please contact us for assistance and additional information.

Contact Us

Brain Tumor Center
Information: 203-200-1638
Appointments: 203-785-2791

Cancer Support Groups

Smilow Cancer Hospital at Yale New Haven offers cancer support groups.

Valencia: Brain Cancer Survivor

Valencia: Brain Cancer Survivor

From the time she was a little girl in Bridgeport, CT, Valencia Opont was prone to headaches. “I’d get them a lot but it wasn’t a big deal,” said the 27-year-old nursing assistant. “My mother would give me Tylenol and they went away.”

Read Valencia's Story