Brain Cancer Program

Brain cancer. That's not something anyone wants to hear. But if you do hear it, you want to know there's a team of experts focusing on you and your cancer, dedicated to providing the best possible outcome.

We're here for you.

At University of Iowa Holden Comprehensive Cancer Center, our highly experienced physicians and staff are dedicated to taking care of you, not just your cancer. As part of a nationally recognized cancer center, our team focuses on every aspect of brain cancer — our clinicians are also top researchers, finding new and innovative treatments and therapies, as well as identifying genetic links that may pinpoint risk. We are on the leading edge of brain cancer research, always searching for ways to make the best cancer treatment even better.

Facts About Brain Cancer

  • Brain tumors are either primary or metastatic. Primary brain tumors begin in the brain and tend to stay in the brain, and occur mostly in children and older adults. Metastatic brain tumors start as a cancer elsewhere in the body and spread to the brain, and are more common in adults than in children.
  • There are several different kinds of primary brain tumors, including: gliomas, meningiomas, acoustic neuromas, medulloblastomas, pituitary adenomas, and primitive neuroectodermal tumors (PNETs).
  • Any kind of cancer can spread to the brain, but the cancers that spread most often to the brain are breast cancer, colon cancer, kidney cancer, lung cancer, and melanoma.

Choose Holden for Your Care

Patients of Holden Cancer Center benefit from a team-based approach that puts each patient at the center. At Holden, experts in specific cancer types—including a genetic counselor certified and specializing in cancer genetic counseling—is part of this team.

Holden patients also benefit from medical advances that take into account an individual’s tumor, genes, environment, and lifestyle to diagnose and treat their specific types of cancer. Known as personalized, or precision medicine, this highly specialized approach is part of Holden’s commitment to providing life-changing medical treatments and care.

Services That Set Us Apart

  • Our specialists focus on brain cancer and have a unique expertise in working together to treat brain cancer. Our team of specialists focus not just on brain cancer, but on your brain cancer. They understand every aspect of the disease, and know about the most recent treatment options from chemotherapy to radiation therapy to surgery.
  • Innovative clinical trials. We not only offer access to the most recent treatment methods and therapies but our physicians are also brain cancer researchers, placing them right in the heart of the latest breakthroughs in brain cancer.
  • Multiple treatment options. Many brain cancer patients need multiple types of treatments over the course of their treatment. We offer a full-range of services in one program. That combined with our expertise allows us to offer you what will work best for your cancer.
  • New infusion suite designed with patients in mind. Our infusion suite was designed with patient input to create a comfortable, welcoming environment. Take our virtual tour

Cancer Care With You in Mind

Holden Comprehensive Cancer Center is the only institution in Iowa to hold the prestigious designation of being a Comprehensive Cancer Center by the National Cancer Institute (NCI). What that means for you is that we are recognized among the leading cancer centers in the United States. NCI-designated Comprehensive Cancer Centers are rated in the top 4 percent of the approximately 1,500 cancer centers in the United States. A recent study published in the journal Cancer showed that patients treated at NCI-designated cancer centers have better survival outcomes than patients treated at non-NCI designated cancer centers.

To be considered a "comprehensive" center means our teams have expertise in clinical, laboratory and population-based research. Our doctors and staff are on top of the newest developments in cancer research, treatment and diagnosis. That means our team of experts will design a treatment plan that is tailored to your individual needs – we don’t believe in "one size fits all."

Our multidisciplinary team is ready to offer all of the services you need for your leukemia care. We know no one wants to stay in the hospital longer than necessary, so we work especially hard to make sure your treatment options are done on an out-patient basis, allowing you to rest in the comfort of your own home.

Clinical Trials and Research

Our researchers are constantly looking for improvements in cancer treatments and diagnoses, as well and searching for a cure. In many cases, patients are able to help in that research by participating in clinical trials. Here are a few examples of ongoing clinical trials related to brain cancer:

Support Our Mission

Our work is made possible in part by the support of donors through charitable giving. Friends of Holden Comprehensive Cancer Center can become partners in the effort to control and ultimately cure cancer. Learn how you can help us make a difference for cancer patients.

Team-Based Approach

We bring experts from different fields of medicine to work together as a team called a multidisciplinary oncology group. Because many brain cancer patients require more than one form of treatment, our team meets regularly to discuss the best course of treatment and works together to design the best personalized plan for every patient. The team includes medical oncologists, radiation oncologists, social workers, pathologists, pediatric oncologists, pharmacists, nurses, and laboratory-based scientists. Our team of specialists focuses not just on brain cancer, but on your brain cancer.