Spinal Tumors

Spinal Tumors

Call 314-362-3577 for Adult Appointments or 314-454- 2810 for Pediatric  Appointments

WashU Neurosurgery’s spine surgeons have specialized training to care for all spinal tumors; especially those involving the bones of the spine, the nerve roots, the lining of the spinal cord, or the spinal cord itself.  Surgical techniques developed at Washington University are on the leading edge of treatments offered to patients across the nation.

The WashU Neurosurgery spine team delivers advanced care to patients at Siteman Cancer Center, ranked among the top cancer facilities in the nation by U.S. News & World Report.


  • Breast, lung and prostate cancer are the most frequently encountered metastatic tumors of the spine.
  • Spinal tumors also arise from the bone and associated tissues; they include atypical hemangiomas, sarcomas and chordomas.
  • The spinal cord and associated tissues of the central nervous system are another source of tumors in this region.
  • Benign tumors such as schwannomas/neurofibromas (nerve sheath tumors) and hemangioblastomas can be found in conjunction with inherited disorders such as neurofibromatosis and Von Hippel-Lindau disease. 
  • Meningiomas are tumors that emerge from the coverings of the brain and spinal cord. Lastly, tumors may develop from within the spinal cord itself and include tumors such as ependymomas and gliomas.

Spinal tumor treatment

Each tumor affecting the spine and spinal cord is unique in its behavior and requires personalized treatment. For some tumors, surgical excision is the dominant treatment. In others, surgery only plays a limited role. 

Our patients benefit from access not only to the expertise of our spinal surgeons, but also to all Washington University cancer specialists. In some cases, we can provide specialized treatments over short visits, while our patients receive their long-term care locally.

All patients referred to our Neurosurgery Department for spine tumor treatment benefit from our multidisciplinary Spine Tumor Board. Our team of experts discusses each individual patient, and customizes treatment recommendations for each patient’s specific condition. The Spine Tumor Board brings together a team of experts: medical and radiation oncologists, radiologists, interventional radiologists, and orthopedic and neurological surgeons, to provide the best treatment for each individual.