How is acoustic neuroma treated?
Treatment for acoustic neuroma depends on the severity of your symptoms, the location and size of the tumor, and your health status.
If your symptoms aren’t severe and the tumor isn’t pressing on neighboring structures, your care team at the Institute may recommend active surveillance. During active surveillance, your doctors keep an eye on your condition through regular office visits and MRI tests.
If your symptoms get worse or the tumor grows, your care team may suggest:
- Surgery - Specialty neuro-oncology surgeons at the Institute are skilled in several techniques to safely remove acoustic neuroma tumors. The technique your surgeon chooses depends on the size of the tumor. He or she gains access to the tumor by removing bone – and sometimes part of the inner ear – through an incision above or behind the affected ear. While the goal of surgery is to remove all of the tumor, your surgeon may only remove part of it to save important nerves. Our neuro-oncology surgeons use the finest neuromonitoring techniques during your surgery to protect nerve and brain function.
- Radiation therapy - This treatment uses ionizing radiation to shrink or destroy acoustic neuroma tumors. Your care team may recommend radiation therapy if your tumor is in a location that doesn’t allow surgery or if surgery couldn’t remove the entire tumor. Types of radiation therapy used to treat acoustic neuroma include intensity modulated radiation therapy, image-guided radiation therapy and stereotactic radiosurgery. You could also be a candidate for proton therapy – an advanced form of radiation therapy that is more precise than traditional forms of radiation therapy. Miami Cancer Institute is the first cancer center in South Florida to offer this highly effective form of radiation therapy.
- Neurocognitive evaluation - This assesses your brain function and is done before you begin treatment. If you experience complications from radiation therapy, another evaluation will be done to check for any changes in your cognitive abilities.
- Rehabilitation - You could require physical therapy after treatment. Rehabilitation at the Institute is guided by a physiatrist who specializes in treating patients with brain tumors.
A multidisciplinary team of cancer experts including surgeons, medical oncologists, radiation oncologists, plastic reconstructive surgeons, pathologists, radiologists, genetic counselors, medical geneticists, social workers, patient navigators and clinical trials staff meet weekly to discuss select complex cases and determine the best course of care. Stem cell transplantation experts and hematologic oncology experts are also available to discuss complex cases.
Miami Cancer Institute can provide access to clinical trials not widely available elsewhere. Clinical trials find new ways to treat and diagnose cancer and are ongoing. If an appropriate trial is available, we will talk to you about the benefits and risks.
South Florida's First Proton Therapy Center
Proton therapy is a highly specialized treatment that directs proton particles toward tumors to destroy cancer cells while largely sparing healthy tissue and decreasing the risk of side effects. This sophisticated treatment is used only for certain types of cancers and in a limited number of individuals.