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The Division of Neuro-oncology specializes in the diagnosis and management of primary or secondary cancers affecting the brain and the neurologic complications of cancer. The division is not only a part of the Neurology Department, but also the Vanderbilt Ingram Cancer Center and the Vanderbilt Brain Tumor Center. The treatment for most patients is multidisciplinary and combines neurosurgical and radiation aspects, as well as chemotherapy and medical aspects.

Neuro-oncologist Dr. Paul Moots heads the division, and collaborates with neurosurgeons, radiation therapists, pediatric oncologists, chemotherapists and neuro-pathologists.

The types of tumors treated include: gliomas, metastatic brain tumors – including perisonomous meningitis or neoplastic meningitis, CNS lymphoma, CNS PNET primitive neuro-ectedermal tumor, CNS germ cell tumors, meningiomas, and spinal cord tumors.

The division also evaluates and treats neurological complications of cancer that are not metastatic, including many different neurological problems such as stroke, seizures, myopathy, dementia and neuropathy, as well as patients with cancer-related pain syndromes.

Faculty/ Staff

Referral and Patient Information
The Division of Neuro-oncology will see patients with newly diagnosed brain tumors within a week and often within days. To contact the Division of Neuro-Oncology for patient referrals call
(615) 936-0060.

For questions regarding clinical protocols call:
Ester Mitchell
phone (615) 936-0216
fax (615) 936-1263

Or contact Dr. Moots by email:

All new patients are reviewed by a Neuro-oncology Tumor Board, which includes neurosurgeons and radiation therapists, to develop a multi-disciplinary treatment plan. Patients are either treated at Vanderbilt, or their care is referred back to their local oncologists or radiation therapists. Regardless of the treatment location, the division follows all primary brain tumor patients on a long-term basis and contributes both in terms of neurology issues and tumor or oncology issues.

Dr. Moots’ research focuses on chemotherapy and symptomatic treatments for the management of primary neoplasms of the nervous system. This includes chemotherapy trials developed at the Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center, as well as trials sponsored by the Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group, a national organization for cancer trials.

Dr. Moots has a long-standing interest in medulloblastoma and is the chairperson of an ECOG trial for adult patients with medulloblastoma. He also is involved in trials for other forms of adult glioma, central nervous system lymphoma, and certain forms of metastatic cancer of the nervous system, particularly carcinomatous meningitis.

The Division of Neuro-oncology conducted a pilot study of a particular brain tumor – megiloblastoma – in adults, which has led to a national study that is ongoing by the ECOG. The study uses chemotherapy and radiation therapy on megiloblastoma.

Other studies include pharmaceutical sponsored trials, trials for neoplsticmenigitis, and also trials for newly diagnosed and recurring gliomas.

The Division of Neuro-oncology encourages residents to rotate through the clinic during their courses. They also offer fellowships for physicians trained in Neurology who are interested in pursuing careers in brain tumors and cancer research.