Neuro-Oncology at the University of Illinois College of Medicine

Dr. Engelhard with patient

  • Craniotomy for brain tumor removal
  • Minimally-invasive surgery
  • Skull base surgery
  • Preoperative embolization of tumors
  • Radiosurgery: Gamma Knife
  • Radiosurgery: Cyberknife
  • Surgery for pituitary tumors
  • High resolution and functional MRI
  • Awake surgery with brain mapping
  • Interstitial therapy
  • Chemotherapy
  • Treatment of seizure disorders
  • Fractionated radiation therapy
  • Physical Therapy / OT / Speech Therapy
  • Clinical trials


Clinical Practice:

The University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) has a multidisciplinary team of doctors and nurses available to help brain tumor patients, utilizing state-of-the-art techniques and equipment for brain tumor diagnosis and treatment. Our program includes neurosurgeons, neuro-oncologists, neuro-radiologists, radiation therapists, neurologists, neuro-psychologists, and neuropathologists with regularly scheduled conferences to discuss patient care.  The Department is listed as a site in the Society of Neuro-Oncology’s “Neurooncology Centers of Excellence” in the forthcoming book: Brain Tumors: Finding the Ark.  UIC Neurosurgeons perform 200-300 brain tumor procedures each year.

The team uses cutting-edge techniques to eradicate tumors where critical vessels and nerves enter and leave the head.  Working with multiple specialties including Ear, Nose and Throat (ENT) physicians and plastic surgeons, virtually all areas of the brain and skull base can be accessed.  Unresectable tumors can be treated with high-precision stereotactic radiation.

The multidisciplinary teams at UIC ensure that patients receive the highest degree of specialized and comprehensive care available.


Brain Tumor Research:

UIC has many world leaders in the forefront of neuro-oncology research.  Dr. Keith Thulborn is the director of the magnetic resonance research program and of the 9.4 Tesla MRI.  This is the most powerful MRI built for human imaging and provides cellular, metabolic and structural information.  Dr. Thulborn has approval for clinical use, and this creates a tremendous research opportunity to further our knowledge on brain tumors and tumor therapeutics.

The UIC neuro-epidemiology department is world-renowned and includes Dr. Bridget McCarthy and Dr. Faith Davis.  Dr. Bridget McCarthy is the principal investigator for CBTRUS (Central Brain Tumor Registry of the United States), which publishes the widely-cited compendium of brain tumor epidemiology.  Dr. Faith Davis is a past principal investigator of CBTRUS, and is currently a co-principal investigator for the Duke University SPORE (Specialized Program of Research Excellence) in Brain Cancer Grant which was awarded on September 1, 2004, for a five-year period.  She is studying the genetic/neurocarcinogen risks and outcomes for brain tumors.

Dr. Herbert H. Engelhard is the past national Chairman of the Brain Tumor Patient Care Evaluation Study, sponsored by the American College of Surgeons.  He has also served on the Board of Directors of the Brain Tumor Network and of CBTRUS.  Dr. Engelhard’s research focuses on novel treatments for malignant brain tumors. He currently has several treatment trials enrolling patients and is working in collaboration with Dr. John Villano in medical neuro-oncology.  Our program gained significant recognition for enrolling the first patient in the international phase III study for recurrent glioblastoma multiforme, the NovoCure study, which uses a non-toxic and novel therapy of alternating electrical fields to treat patients with glioblastoma.

The many faculty members with research laboratories in neuro-oncology include Dr. Richard Gemeinhart, Dr. John Villano, Dr. Tibor Valyi-Nagy, Dr. Manuel Utset, and Dr. Joe Zhou.  Their exciting work ranges from developing animal models of brain tumors to creating new vehicles for delivery of therapeutic substances to malignant brain tumors.

Helena Yoder is the Research Manager for the Department of Neurosurgery.  For more information on clinical trials please contact Helena Yoder at