UNC neurosurgeons have special expertise in transpedicular corpectomy for metastatic tumors, sparing many cancer patients from thoracotomy/transabdominal procedures resulting in less morbidity and shorter hospital stays. All spine tumor cases are discussed in our tumor board meeting to optimize patient care.
Surgical techniques for removal of malignant spine tumors:
- Spondylectomy for primary tumors
- Transpedicular corpectomy for metastatic tumors
For tumors involving the sacrum, we utilize a multidisciplinary team comprised of a surgical oncologist, a plastic surgeon, and a neurosurgeon to provide en bloc resection of sacral tumors. We are the only center that can deliver intraoperative radiation at the tumor bed (for locally invasive tumors).
For upper cervical, invasive tumors of neck and thoracic spine, individualized patient care is provided by working closely with ENT/thoracic surgeons and radiation oncologists.
The UNC neurosurgery program is one of the few centers in North Carolina to provide CyberKnife® radiosurgery for spinal tumors.
Other conditions treated include: spinal cord tumors (astrocytomas, ependymomas, hemangioblastoma), meningioma, schwannoma and vascular lesions involving the spinal cord.