Precision Medicine for Brain and Spinal Cord Tumors

This information is useful for children and adults
Why Yale Medicine?
  • Yale researchers first pioneered precision medicine technology in 2009.
  • Our doctors work across departments to create a comprehensive treatment plan for patients.
  • We use state-of-the-art technology to treat adult and pediatric patients.

About 23,000 malignant tumors of the brain or spinal cord are diagnosed in men and women each year. These tumors can be difficult to treat because surgery or radiation can destroy nearby healthy cells. But precision medicine technology, which was first pioneered at Yale, may provide a drug based solution to target specific cells in a patient's body and leave the rest of the cells untouched. Doctors and researchers at Yale are working across departments to find an individualized solution for adults and children with brain or spinal cord tumors. 

Tumors can be defined in several ways. If they are benign, they will not spread onto other tissues, but they may come back. If the tumors are malignant, they're considered cancerous, because they can grow quickly and spread onto other tissue.

There are several classifications of brain tumors, all stemming from where they first start growing:

Tumors are also graded by their intensity:

  • Grade 1 and Grade II grow more slowly, and they may spread more slowly.
  • Grade III and Grade IV tumors grow and spread quickly and often require an immediate response.