Center Leadership

Under the leadership of Sean Grimm, MD and Vinai Gondi, MD, the care team of the Brain and Spine Tumor Center provides specialized experience and expertise in the treatment of brain and spine tumors. This team approach to care offers patients faster multi-disciplinary collaboration which has led to high patient satisfaction. Dr. Grimm also works jointly with physicians at Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center of Northwestern University providing advanced clinical trial research opportunities.

Sean Grimm, MD

Medical Director, Neuro-Oncology
Brain and Spine Tumor Center at Northwestern Medicine Central DuPage Hospital and Northwestern Medicine Delnor Hospital

Dr. Grimm is the only fellowship-trained neuro-oncologist practicing in the western Chicago suburbs. After completing a fellowship in neuro-oncology at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York City, he spent five years on faculty at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine prior to coming to Northwestern Medicine Central DuPage Hospital in 2013. Dr. Grimm specializes in the medical treatment of primary brain tumors (glioblastoma, anaplastic astrocytoma, oligodendroglioma, primary central nervous system [CNS] lymphoma and meningioma), metastatic CNS tumors (brain metastases, spine metastases and leptomeningeal metastases), and the neurologic complications of cancer and its treatment (seizures, peripheral neuropathy, paraneoplastic disorders and general neurology).

He also designs and conducts clinical trials for patients with primary brain tumors.

Vinai Gondi, MD*

Medical Director, CNS Radiation Oncology
Brain and Spine Tumor Center at Northwestern Medicine Central DuPage Hospital and Northwestern Medicine Delnor Hospital

Prior to coming to Northwestern Medicine in 2012, Dr. Gondi completed his training in radiation oncology at the University of Wisconsin under the mentorship of Minesh Mehta, MD, an internationally recognized CNS (central nervous system) radiation oncologist.

Dr. Gondi specializes in the treatment of primary and metastatic CNS tumors with advanced radiotherapy technology, including proton beam therapy, Gamma Knife® radiosurgery, intensity-modulated radiotherapy and stereotactic radiosurgery.

His research focuses on utilizing advanced radiotherapy technology to improve treatment outcomes in patients with primary and metastatic CNS tumors. He has served as the national Principal Investigator on multiple clinical trials through the Radiation Therapy Oncology Group (RTOG), including ongoing trials investigating the use of proton beam therapy for newly diagnosed glioblastoma patients and memory sparing radiation therapy treatment.

*In the spirit of keeping you well-informed, the physician(s) identified are neither agents nor employees of Northwestern Memorial HealthCare or any of its affiliates. They have selected our facilities as places where they want to treat and care for their private patients.

Dedicated Team with Specialized Expertise

Given the complexity of treating brain tumors, being cared for by a multidisciplinary team of specialists, including neurosurgeons, neuro-oncologists, radiation oncologists, neuro-radiologists, pathologists, palliative care specialists, neuropsychologists and physiatrists, is optimal for achieving the best possible outcome.

The Brain and Spine Tumor Center at Northwestern Medicine Central DuPage Hospital and Northwestern Medicine Delnor Hospital offers easy access to brain tumor treatment and clinical trials close to a patient’s home. It is the only brain tumor program in the western Chicago suburbs with a fellowship-trained neuro-oncologist and a radiation oncologist dedicated to the central nervous system (CNS)*.

Access to these specialists means that patients living in the western suburbs do not have to travel far from home for excellent care. Patients are seen at both the Northwestern Medicine Cancer Center Warrenville and Northwestern Medicine Cancer Center Delnor. Both cancer centers provide complimentary valet parking.

*In the spirit of keeping you well-informed, the physician(s) identified are neither agents nor employees of Northwestern Memorial HealthCare or any of its affiliates. They have selected our facilities as places where they want to treat and care for their private patients.

Brain and Spine Tumor Diagnoses

Our specialists are experts in the treatment of primary brain and spine tumors, secondary brain and spine tumors, and the neurologic complications of cancer and its treatment. A sample of diagnoses might include these:

  • Primary brain tumor — glioblastoma, anaplastic astrocytoma, anaplastic oligodendroglioma, anaplastic ependymoma, astrocytoma, oligodendroglioma, ependymoma, medulloblastoma, pineoblastoma, primary CNS lymphoma, ganglioglioma, pituitary tumors, and meningioma
  • Secondary brain and spine tumors — brain, spine and leptomeningeal metastases
  • Neurologic complications of cancer — paraneoplastic disorders and general neurologic problems in patients with cancer
Take a tour of the Brain Tumor Center The Brain and Spine Tumor Center at Northwestern Medicine Central DuPage Hospital and Northwestern Medicine Delnor Hospital.

Comprehensive Program Featuring Advanced Technology

At the Brain and Spine Tumor Center at Northwestern Medicine Central DuPage Hospital and Northwestern Medicine Delnor Hospital, you have access to the latest technological advancements to treat brain tumors, delivered through a comprehensive program that includes:

  • Weekly brain and spine tumor conference – (Mondays 8:00-9:00 am at Northwestern Medicine Central DuPage Hospital and teleconferenced to the Northwestern Medicine Cancer Center Delnor and Northwestern Medicine Chicago Proton Center). To submit a case, or for additional questions, please contact the Neuro-Oncology nurse navigator, Beth Bosshart-Frigo 630.352.5450 ( TTY for the hearing impaired 630.933.4833).
  • Weekly brain and spine tumor clinic – Patients and family members can visit with a neurosurgeon, neuro-oncologist, CNS-dedicated radiation oncologist, neuropsychologist, social worker, financial counselor, nutritionist, and occupational therapist in one visit in the same clinic space.
  • Clinical trial options – These are available for patients with glioblastoma, anaplastic astrocytoma, anaplastic oligodendroglioma, primary CNS lymphoma, and CNS metastases.
  • Intraoperative MRI (iMRI) – Northwestern Medicine Central DuPage Hospital (CDH) is the only hospital in Illinois to offer full-field intraoperative MRI (i-MRI), a state-of-the-art surgical technology that provides high-quality, more detailed imaging viewable during surgery. By integrating this technology with advanced surgical techniques, your neurosurgeon can conduct scans during surgery to more safely and precisely remove brain tumors, especially around sensitive areas of the brain. This ensures maximum possible tumor removal, and minimizes the removal of healthy tissue.
  • Advanced radiation therapy treatments – These include Stereotactic Radiosurgery (SRS), Tomotherapy®, and RapidArc®, advanced radiotherapy technologies that improve dose conformity, and may shorten treatment times.
    • Proton therapy – One of the most precise forms of radiation therapy, proton treatment can be controlled so most of the radiation ends up directly in the tumor, reducing the risk of damage to surrounding healthy tissues, and causing fewer short- and long-term side effects. It has been effective in treating certain types of brain and spine cancer. Northwestern Medicine is the first and only health system in Illinois, and the ninth in the country, to offer proton therapy at the Northwestern Medicine Chicago Proton Center in Warrenville.*
    • Gamma Knife® Radiosurgery - Gamma Knife® radiosurgery is an advanced cancer treatment used in multidisciplinary care plans at the Brain and Spine Tumor Center at Northwestern Medicine Cancer Care Center Warrenville. Gamma Knife is particularly well suited to treat brain tumors in difficult locations with less damage to surrounding healthy tissues. Benign, malignant, recurrent or metastatic brain tumors can all benefit from the precision of this safer treatment option.
    • Brain Tumor resource and support groups – Patients and their families can find these groups at the Northwestern Medicine Cancer Center Warrenville and LivingWell Cancer Resource Center in Geneva.
    • Endoscopic skull base surgery – Skull base surgery can be used to remove benign and cancerous tumors on the base of the brain or skull. This can be done using minimally invasive endoscopes to access these difficult-to-reach areas.

    For more information, download our Brain and Spine Tumor Center Brochure Cadence-health-information.

    *The Northwestern Medicine Chicago Proton Center (Center) is a joint venture between Northwestern Memorial Healthcare and Radiation Oncology Consultants, Ltd. Both organizations are dedicated to providing proton therapy in Illinois. The physicians that practice at the Center are neither agents nor employees of Northwestern Memorial Healthcare or any of its affiliates. They have chosen this facility as the place they wish to care for and treat their private patients.

    Clinical Trials

    The Center offers a full complement of clinical trials for patients with brain tumors. A list of open brain tumor clinical trials is available here.

    Learn more about the benefits of, and guidelines for participating in a clinical trial from the National Cancer Institute**.

    Know what questions to ask** when evaluating a clinical study at ClinicalTrials.gov**, a service of the U.S. National Institutes of Health.

    Support Services for Brain and Spine Tumors

    You have access to a wide range of support resources at the Brain and Spine Tumor Center at Northwestern Medicine Central DuPage Hospital and Northwestern Medicine Delnor Hospital, including a nutritionist, social worker and financial counselor.

    LivingWell Cancer Resource Center, part of Northwestern Medicine, can be a vital component of your treatment and recovery. LivingWell serves as a gathering place, providing comfort and community to anyone experiencing the effects of cancer. The LivingWell staff works to ensure that you and your family feel less isolated, better informed, more hopeful and empowered to take on the challenge of facing cancer.

    LivingWell services include more than 60 free-of-charge educational classes, support and networking groups, counseling, and classes in exercise, nutrition and stress reduction. The Brain Tumor Resource and Support Group meets at the following days/times:

    • First and third Wednesdays of each month from 7:30 pm – 9:00 pm at LivingWell in Geneva
    • Second Wednesday of the month from 6:00 pm – 7:30 pm at the Northwestern Medicine Cancer Center Warrenville

    For more information or a schedule of events, contact the staff at info@livingwellcrc.org or 630.262.1111.

    **By clicking on these websites, you are leaving the Northwestern Medicine website. These websites are independent resources. Northwestern Medicine does not operate or control the content of these websites.

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