Cancer Guide

On Cancer: New Information about Diagnosing and Treating Low-Grade Glioma at Memorial Sloan Kettering

Pictured: Philip Gutin Philip Gutin, Chair of the Department of Neurosurgery and Co-Executive Director of the Brain Tumor Center

Memorial Sloan Kettering is home to a multidisciplinary team of neurosurgeons and other experts who specialize in caring for people with a low-grade glioma – one of the most common types of primary brain tumor. These slow-growing tumors develop in the glial cells that provide support and protection for nerve cells in the brain and other parts of the nervous system.

Our new informational guide describes how we combine state-of-the-art diagnosis and treatment technologies with comprehensive follow-up care and rehabilitation to manage common side effects of this type of brain tumor, such as seizures and thinking and memory problems.

New Technologies

New technologies have made brain surgery — the optimal treatment for most people with low-grade glioma — safer and more effective than ever before. Our neurosurgeons use advanced technologies including functional MRI brain mapping to plan surgeries and to map tissues during procedures. In addition, MRI scanners are used in the operating room to protect important areas of the brain related to vision, movement, and other functions, and to preserve your quality of life as much as possible.

For some patients whose tumors are close to delicate areas of the brain, our surgeons may perform awake surgery.

Clinical Trials

For people who do not respond to initial treatment or whose tumor returns after therapy, we can often offer the option of participation in a clinical trial of a new, experimental therapy that may not be available elsewhere.  Our physicians and researchers are also working on new investigational approaches for the treatment of low-grade glioma.


is there any new options for treatment of secondary ependymoma after surgery and cyberknife

We have several trials open for ependymoma. You can find a listing here: If you'd like to speak with someone about participating in one of our trials, you can call 800-525-2225 or go to for more information. Thank you for your comment.

My mother recently got diagnosed with a 2 cm benign brain tumor on her front-left side of the brain. She is having cranial presure, vision discomfort (especially in bright places or light) and vertigo. She was told she has a 'hole' on her head where the tumor is located. The doctor told her to wait for a year to see if the tumor grows. I am concern on the 'waiting if it grows' part. It's 2 cm, should this tumor be treated as soon as possible, especially with the side effects she is having? My mom resides in Quebec, Canada so I am not sure if this is standard practice in Canada.

Jamie, we're sorry that your mother is experiencing these problems. If you'd like to arrange for her to come to MSK as an international patient or for a records review by our experts, you can contact our International Center at or go to for more information. Thank you for your comment.

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