New World Class Neuro-Oncology Program Delivers State-of-the-Art Care

New World Class Neuro-Oncology Program Delivers State-of-the-Art Care

Tampa General Hospital (TGH), in partnership with the USF Health Morsani College of Medicine, has added a world-class neuro-oncology program that delivers state-of-the-art care. Patients with brain and spine tum- ors benefit from sophisticated treatments and surgeries using the most advanced technologies in the world.

TGH neurosurgeons offer the latest in neuro-oncology treatments, from MRI-guided procedures to awake surgeries and infusions of fluorescent dyes to find tumors. Multidisciplinary teams of neurosurgeons, medical and radiation oncologists work together during weekly tumor boards to identify the best course of treatment for each patient.


Where other major cancer centers tend to recommend surgical procedure upon surgical procedure, neuro- oncology specialists at TGH take a patient-centered approach to care that considers overall quality of life. Patients are guided through issues of life and death as if they were family members, and physicians help patients and families identify if it’s time to end treat- ments that would steal quality time from their lives.

"As a member of the Brain Tumor Team at USF Tampa General Physicians (USFTGP), I can honestly say that we bring to the table the most advanced surgical technology in the world,” said Dr. Harry van Loveren, Chief of the TGH Neuroscience Institute, Neurosurgery. “But I can also honestly say that the most precious thing we bring to the table is compassion, an understanding that every patient and every family member wants to be seen and heard as the unique and precious individual they are before we share with them our recommenda- tions for their treatment. And that any recommendation we make is filtered through the lens of ‘what if’ – what if you were my wife, my child, my brother. Would this be my plan?”


Neurosurgeons at TGH perform laser interstitial thermal therapy (LITT) on patients with primary and metastatic brain tumors to reach otherwise inoperable lesions. TGH is one of only a few hospitals in Florida to offer the Visualase System™, the most advanced LITT technology available. Tampa General Hospital was first in the region and one of the first in Florida to introduce this MRI-guided laser ablation technology.


Led by nationally renowned CyberKnife expert and radiation oncologist Dr. Brian Collins, the CyberKnife program at TGH offers the most advanced radiosurgery available today to patients iwht tumors of the brain, spine, and other areas of the body.

The first and only fully robotic radiotherapy device, the CyberKnife System uses stereotactic body radiation therapy (SRS SBRT) to deliver precise doses of radiation with extreme accuracy. With the newest CyberKnife system it is possible for patients to undergo shorter treatments of about 15 minutes – compared with an hour – and fewer treatments (between one and five sessions over one to two weeks). The non-surgical, non-invasive, precise targeting results in reduced cognitive side effects and far better outcomes.

Collins was one of the first radiation oncologists to use CyberKnife, and his team has published studies showing improved outcomes for meningioma, pituitary tumors and acoustic neuromas, as well as arteriovenous malformation (AVMs).


The ChemoID functional anti-cancer assay targets live cancer stem cells along with the bulk of the tumor cells. “Our findings support that screening standard cytotoxic chemotherapies with a patient- specific anti-cancer assay improves survival outcomes in recurrent high-grade glioma patients,” said Dr. Tulika Ranjan, Director of Neuro-Oncology at Tampa General Hospital/University of South Florida/Cancer Center of South Florida


TGH physicians were first in Hillsborough County to perform GammaTile procedures on patients experiencing recurring brain tumors such as glio- blastomas, gliomas and meningiomas. The FDA- cleared procedure places a bio-resorbable collagen tile the size of a postage stamp in the tumor site immediately following tumor removal surgery. By targeting residual tumor cells with precise gamma ray doses, the procedure slows the progression of a returning brain tumor. Whereas surgical resection, chemotherapy and radiation treatment have been the traditional approaches to combating these brain tumors, GammaTile offers a potentially life- prolonging option.

Discover the Neuroscience Institute

Learn more about Tampa General Hospital's Neuroscience Institute and see how we define medicine.