Brain and Spinal Cord Cancers

The neuro-oncology team at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center and UW Medicine has a wide breadth of expertise in both primary brain cancers and in brain and spinal cord metastases. At the Fred Hutch Brain and Spine Metastases Clinic, we specialize in treating patients with a primary cancer that has spread to the brain and spinal cord, known as brain and spinal cord metastases. Fred Hutch is one of the only centers in the U.S. with expertise in brain and spinal cord metastases.

Fred Hutch Expertise

Making medical decisions regarding the treatment of brain and spinal cord metastases is complex and requires an advanced level of knowledge and experience. Knowing how to minimize the side effects of treatments that can affect a patient’s brain function is also critical.

Our medical oncologists, radiation oncologists and surgeons are among the nation’s most knowledgeable and respected physicians in brain and spinal cord oncology. Each week, a team of multidisciplinary providers — including expert physicians, nurses and researchers — meets to discuss, evaluate and plan each patient’s individualized care.

Through the Fred Hutch Brain and Spine Metastases Clinic, we offer the most advanced treatment options available, including surgery, radiation, chemotherapy and immunotherapy. In addition, there are options for treatment within a clinical trial. We work closely with the Gamma Center at Harborview Medical Center, our proton therapy facility and the Alvord Brain Tumor Center at UW Medical Center – Montlake.

At Fred Hutch, we also offer our patients robust supportive care services such as nutrition, social work and psychiatry. It is important to us to care for our patients as a whole person, not just the disease or cancer.

About Our Patients

Our patients are often referred by their primary medical oncologist, who is treating their primary cancer. Some patients are seeking new options and a second opinion for their brain and spinal cord metastases.

We work closely with your primary medical oncologist, involving them in your care and communicating with them frequently. Your primary oncologist remains with you throughout your brain or spinal cord metastasis treatment, and the treatments we offer complement your primary cancer care.

For Patients with Primary Brain or Spinal Cord Cancers

For patients with a primary (non-metastasized) brain or spinal cord cancer, our partners at the Alvord Brain Tumor Center at UW Medical Center – Montlake have a robust team with dedicated expertise in treating these cancers. Treatment is available for every type of primary brain and spinal cord cancer.

Fred Hutch Brain and Spine Metastases Clinic

To request an appointment with a specialist in brain or spinal cord metastases.

Phone: 855.557.0555

Alvord Brain Tumor Center

To request an appointment with a specialist in primary brain or spinal cord cancer.

Phone: 206.598.2282

Your First Appointment

If you have been diagnosed with brain or spinal cord metastasis, our neuro-oncology team at Fred Hutch is here for you. Our experts care for people just like you — all day, every day. We’re ready to provide our expertise, treatment and support to you and your family. 

Learn About Brain & Spinal Cord Cancers

Brain and spinal cord cancers can grow in the central nervous system, which is known as a primary cancer. They can also travel from other parts of the body, like the lung or breast, and form deposits in the brain or spinal cord; this is called a secondary cancer or brain metastases. Many brain cancers are the result of metastasis (spread) of cancer from other places in the body to the brain.

Facts & Resources

Treatment for Brain & Spinal Cord Cancers

The Fred Hutch Brain and Spine Metastases Clinic offers the most advanced treatment options to patients who have cancer that has metastasized to the brain or spinal cord. Our treatments are based on the latest available scientific evidence and clinical research.


Brain & Spinal Cord Cancer Care Team

At Fred Hutch, you receive care from a team of providers with extensive experience in your disease. Your team includes physicians, a patient care coordinator, a registered nurse, an advanced practice provider and others, based on your needs. You also have access to experts like registered dieticians, social workers, acupuncturists, psychiatrists and more who specialize in supporting people with cancer or blood disorders.

Care Team

Latest Treatments and Clinical Trials

Many patients at Fred Hutch receive promising therapies by taking part in clinical trials. These research studies are done by physician-scientists from Fred Hutch and UW Medicine. They test new treatments or new ways to use current treatments.

Every advance in cancer treatment in recent years has come out of clinical trials. We offer more active clinical trials than anywhere else, which means more treatment options for patients like you.

Fred Hutch’s neuro-oncology team brings together specialized clinicians and scientists focused on neuro-oncology research. This means there are more treatment options at Fred Hutch than you might find elsewhere, including the chance to participate in one of many ongoing clinical trials both here and at UW Medicine.