MedStar Health Comprehensive Brain Tumor Center

Advancing care for benign and malignant central nervous system tumors

Receiving a central nervous system (CNS) tumor diagnosis can be a life-changing and stressful event, which is why it’s critical to have easy access to knowledgeable experts. MedStar Health prides itself on providing a comprehensive brain tumor program led by world-class specialists who focus exclusively on diagnosing and treating these tumors, including primary and metastatic tumors located in the brain or spine. At MedStar Health, patients benefit from multidisciplinary, well-coordinated management of their condition in a timely manner.

Our team leverages the collective expertise of fellowship-trained specialists in neurosurgery, neuro-oncology, neurology, medical oncology, radiation oncology, neuroradiology, and neuropathology in planning a customized and evidence-based treatment plan for each patient. We review individual cases weekly to ensure care is personalized to each patient’s needs, preferences, and goals. Your treatment considers all the most advanced research-backed options available, from innovative robotic surgeries to state-of-the-art radiation and systemic therapies, including clinical trials. With decades of combined experience, our distinguished experts have treated thousands of patients, including those previously considered untreatable elsewhere.

Our goal is to deliver specialized and compassionate care that helps patients understand all available treatment options to make the best decisions for their care. In addition,our comprehensive approach incorporates physical and psychological support services that ensure attention to all the critical details of each individual.

Comprehensive treatment accessible across the region

Our consultative services are available to physicians, surgeons, and directly to patients throughout and across the MedStar Health system. MedStar Health Neurosciences comprises neurology and neurosurgery departments that are centralized under nationally-recognized leadership, ensuring coordination of all critical services at various locations in a convenient, familiar setting. As a result, we make it easy to get specialized care wherever you see us in the Maryland and Washington, D.C., region.

Program highlights

Patients benefit from:

  • Advanced diagnostic and treatment approaches backed by the latest brain tumor research.

  • Timely appointments and prompt surgery scheduling, depending on the patient’s health status, specific diagnosis, and urgency.

  • Access to a full team of experts with deep specialization in various fields focused on neurosciences.

  • Comprehensive and meticulous tumor imaging and histological evaluation by board-certified neuroradiologists and neuropathologists to ensure accurate diagnoses.

  • A weekly multidisciplinary Brain Tumor Board, during which multidisciplinary specialists collectively determine the best approach for each individual.

  • Collaboration with the region's only comprehensive cancer center designated by the National Cancer Institute and the National Institutes of Health (NIH), Georgetown Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center, ensuring patients have access to the latest available clinical trials.

  • Coordination and support from nurse navigators, physical and occupational therapists, social workers, genetic counselors, and nutritionists within the program.

  • Seamless connections to specialists, including neurosurgeons, across the MedStar Health system.

Expert care from a team of multidisciplinary specialists

Appropriate diagnosis and optimal treatment requires input from specialists with advanced training and expertise in different medical fields. At MedStar Health, each patient benefits from the combined input from some of the nation's leading experts in:

  • Neuro-oncology

    Neuro-oncologists focus on treating cancers affecting the central nervous system. These specialists have completed intensive training in both neurology and medical oncology, including the latest chemo and biological therapies targeted to treat the individual characteristics of the tumor.

  • Neurosurgery

    Neurosurgeons are experts in diagnosing and treating benign and malignant diseases of the brain, spine, and peripheral nerves using surgery. MedStar Health neurosurgeons are pioneers in using the latest open and minimally invasive surgical and radiosurgical techniques to approach anatomically-challenging tumors. Many of our surgeons have additional specialized training in robotically-assisted and minimally invasive surgery, as well as skull base tumors, including pituitary tumors. When surgery is needed, state-of-the-art intraoperative image guidance helps minimize incisions and reduce recovery times for most operations.

  • Radiation oncology

    Radiation oncologists are trained in using high-energy waves to target and destroy cancer cells. MedStar Health radiation oncologists are adept at utilizing the latest technology, including proton therapy with HYPERSCAN™, Zap-X Radiosurgery, and CyberKnife to precisely target cancer cells while minimizing radiation exposure to healthy tissue and sensitive organs. MedStar Health was the first in the region to use many of these approaches to treat brain tumors, making it one of the most experienced centers in the area.

  • Neuroradiology and interventional radiology

    Radiologists are trained to administer and interpret imaging tests such as CT and MRI to establish detailed diagnoses. Many of MedStar Health’s board-certified radiologists are fellowship trained in diagnosing neurological images, including spine or brain tumors. MedStar’s interventional radiologists can perform minimally invasive treatments using image-guidance, when appropriate.

  • Neuropathology

    Neuropathologists are medical experts who are specially-trained to evaluate neurologic tissue and confirm the definitive diagnosis. Neuropathologists are also trained in assessing genetic cues that may help the team predict how a tumor will respond to a specific treatment.

Your care team may also include a neuro-oncology nurse coordinator, nurse navigators, advanced practice clinicians, dietitians, therapists, counselors, neurorehabilitation experts, and others specific to providing a whole continuum of support.

Types of brain tumors we treat

  • Our nationally-know experts treat a wide range of malignant and benign primary brain and spine tumors, including:

    • Acoustic neuroma 

    • Astrocytoma

    • Craniopharyngioma

    • Ependymoma

    • Epidermoid cyst

    • Glioblastoma

    • Hemangioblastoma

    • Hemangiopericytoma

    • Meningioma

    • Metastases

    • Oligodendroglioma

    • Pituitary 

    • Schwannoma

    • And more

Treatments we offer

At your first appointment, we’ll thoroughly explain the diagnostic process and all your treatment options. We will collaborate with you to make necessary decisions and manage expectations, keeping you informed throughout your care journey.

Your multidisciplinary team offers a full range of treatments, including:

  • Neurosurgery

    If you need surgery, a carefully personalized treatment plan that considers a wide variety of surgical treatment options will be presented, including:

    • Minimally invasive neurosurgery, including robotic-assisted surgery, when appropriate

    • Neurovascular microsurgery

    • Traditional (open) brain or spine surgery

    • Skull base surgery, including open and endoscopic approaches for pituitary surgery 

    During surgery, neurosurgeons use advanced imaging technology in order to make immediate decisions. MedStar Health was the first to use the Brainlab Airo® Mobile Intraoperative CT, which offers the surgeon a more precise approach to the targeted area, with less radiation exposure for the patient.

  • Radiation therapy

    Combining medical expertise with state-of-the-art technology and the latest clinical research allows us to deliver targeted radiation treatment with precision, sparing adjacent healthy structures. Patients benefit from access to state-of-the-art radiation technology, including the following:

  • Systemic therapy

    When appropriate, our neuro-oncologists treat brain and spine tumors and supplement care with appropriate chemo and immunotherapy. Through research involving various clinical protocols, our experts are investigating and able to apply effective treatments for a wide range of brain tumors.

  • Clinical trials

    Patients may have access to multi-center clinical trials in neurosurgery, neuro-oncology, and medical oncology, including promising treatments that are not yet widely available.

Our providers

Joseph Watson

Joseph Watson, MD


Director, Comprehensive Brain Tumor Center

Edina Komlodi-Pasztor

Edina Komlodi-Pasztor, MD, PhD


Director, Neuro-oncology

Edward Aulisi

Edward Aulisi, MD, FAANS, FACS


Chairman, Department of Neurosurgery, MedStar Washington Hospital Center Director, MedStar Pituitary Center

Emily Sloan

Emily Sloan, MD, PhD


Brent Harris

Brent Harris, MD, PhD


Director, Neuropathology

John Lynes

John Lynes, MD


SAYAH_Anousheh_diagnostic radiology_interventional neuroradiology_MGUH.jpg

Anusha Sayah, MD

Diagnostic Radiology

Matthew Witek

Matthew Witek, MD

Neuro-radiation oncology

Our locations

3800 Reservoir Rd
6th Fl
Washington, DC 20007

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Miles away

110 Irving Street, NW
Suite G019
Washington, DC 20010

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Miles away

Visiting us

Hours of operation:
Monday to Friday: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.