Cancer Institute A national cancer institute
designated cancer center

Cranial Base Center

Until recently, many deep seated tumors located in the vicinity of the brainstem or beneath the cerebral cortex were either entirely inoperable, or could be exposed only through injurious degrees of brain retraction.

Historically, all approaches to tumors inside the head began by temporarily removing a window in the plate-like skull surface. For tumors located deeply within this often meant pulling or pushing important parts of the brain out of the way. This could result in brain injury affecting movement, feeling, speech, mental abilities, and other adverse neurological consequences.

Brain-sparing Tumor Removal

The Stanford Cancer Center Cranial Base Center employs new skull base surgical techniques that are minimally invasive yet still allow access to certain tumors located deep in the brain. These techniques enable optimal tumor removal while preserving brain function to the greatest extent possible.

Expert Teams

When you're facing such a serious surgery, you want a team of experts. The Cranial Base Center is a multidisciplinary program that combines the talents of surgeons from otolaryngology (neurotology, head & neck oncology, sinus surgery) along with neurosurgery (neuro-oncology and vascular disorders) together with neural monitoring professionals and radiation oncologists to offer comprehensive management of challenging tumors.

Regions Covered

The regions that are typically considered for cranial base surgery include the roof of the nose and paranasal sinuses, the nasopharynx, cavernous sinus, Meckel's cave, clivus, petrous bone, cerebellopontine angle, jugular foramen, foramen magnum, and the upper cervical spine.

Examples of tumors managed include meningioma, acoustic neuroma, other cranial nerve schwannomas, glomus jugulare, epidermoid, esthesioneuroblastoma, nasopharyngeal carcinoma, and pituitary adenoma.

More Information

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