Radiation oncologist Steven J. Chmura, MD, PhD
Radiation oncologist Steven Chmura, MD, PhD, seen here, co-leads the brain and spinal cord tumor program with neurosurgeon Bakhtiar Yamini, MD.

Cancer that has spread to the brain and spinal cord and cerebrospinal fluid — the components of the central nervous system (CNS) — from other sites in the body are called metastatic. Managing these metastases requires unique expertise.

At the University of Chicago Medicine CNS Metastases Clinic, our team is made up of experts in neuro-oncology, neurosurgery and radiation oncology. These specialists collaborate closely with colleagues in other cancer specialties to optimize the evaluation, care and management of patients with metastases in the brain and spinal cord.

The CNS Metastases Clinic focuses on the management of:

  • Brain metastases
  • Cerebrospinal fluid metastases, also known as leptomeningeal metastases or carcinomatous meningitis
  • Dural metastases 
  • Paraneoplastic syndromes
  • Spinal cord metastases

Treatment plans are tailored to each patients’ specific needs and may include:

  • Surgery
  • Radiation, including stereotactic radiosurgery
  • Systemic therapies, including targeted drug therapy, chemotherapy, immunotherapy and hormone therapy
  • Intrathecal (IT) therapies

In addition to clinical care, which is central to this multidisciplinary program, we are also investigating key issues leading to the development and growth of metastatic tumors. This research is conducted in the Ludwig Center for Metastasis Research.