Cancer Care

Neurological Oncology

St. Joseph Health Regional Cancer Care provides comprehensive neurological oncology care to those living within Northern California. Our team of highly skilled, board-eligible and board-certified neurosurgeons offers high-quality care, close to home. While receiving care at St. Joseph Health Regional Cancer Care you’ll have an entire team of cancer experts working cohesively to ensure that you’re receiving the best care possible.

Kurtis Birch, M.D.

Neurosurgeon

Dr. Kurtis Birch is a board-eligible neurosurgeon with St. Joseph Health Medical Group. Dr. Birch has interests in general neurosurgery and spinal surgery, including spinal instrumentation. He has a specific focus on pituitary tumors and surgical treatments for movement disorders.

Dr. Birch graduated with a medical degree from Boston University and then completed his residency in Neurologic Surgery at Cedars-Sinai in Los Angeles, CA.

Dr. Birch enjoys playing golf and working on his muscle car. He grew up in Utah and attended the University of Utah prior to moving to Boston for medical school.

Giac Consiglieri, M.D.

Neurosurgeon

Dr. Giac Consiglieri is a board-certified neurosurgeon with St. Joseph Health Medical Group, and the Director of Neurosurgery and Neurotrauma at Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital. In addition to general neurosurgery, his specialty interests include cranial surgery for brain tumors as well as spine trauma. Dr. Consiglieri believes in a multispecialty approach to the treatment of the degenerative spine with an extremely conservative approach to surgical decision making.

Dr. Consiglieri graduated with his medical degree from the University of Southern California. He completed both his residency training in Neurological Surgery and infolded fellowship in Spine Trauma and Complex Spinal Instrumentation at the Barrow Neurological Institute in Phoenix, AZ. Dr. Consiglieri is a member of the Congress of Neurologic Surgeons, and upon board-certification, the American Association of Neurologic Surgeons.

When Dr. Consiglieri is not seeing patients or in the OR, he enjoys spending time with his wife and young daughters, as well as mountain biking. He was raised in Santa Rosa and has returned home following his years away for school and training.

Rasha Germain, M.D.

Neurosurgeon

Dr. Germain is a board-eligible neurosurgeon who specializes in cranial and spinal tumors, and complex spinal disease. She grew up in Southern California and attended the University of California, Los Angeles, then graduated from the University of Southern California with a degree in Medicine. She completed her internship in Surgery at Banner Good Samaritan Hospital in Phoenix and her residency in Neurosurgery at the Barrow Neurological Institute. Dr. Germain had a successful private practice in Spokane, Washington as a member of a seven surgeon group, serving a large regional medical center before relocating to Santa Rosa.

Dr. Germain is a member of the following professional health organizations, including the Congress of Neurological Surgeons and Sonoma County Medical Association

Diagnostic Procedures

Diagnostic procedures:

  • Computed tomography (CT)
  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
  • Positron emission tomography (PET)
  • Lumbar puncture (LP)
  • Cerebrospinal fluidal (CSF) analysis

Treatment

Treatment:

At St. Joseph Health Regional Cancer Care, your treatment is catered to your specific needs. Our multidisciplinary team works with the patient and their family to determine the best treatment plan. Different types of brain tumor treatments have different goals. The types of treatment and their goals include:

  • Surgery. The goal of surgery is to remove brain tumors without injuring the surrounding normal brain tissue. When a spine tumor is removed, the goal of surgery is maximal tumor resection without injury to the spinal cord. Surgery is often the first step in treatment for brain and spine tumors. Removing the tumor (resection) is usually done if the tumor can be removed safely. Surgery also gives the healthcare team an exact diagnosis. It also reduces the tumor size. In some cases, if the entire tumor cannot be removed safely due to its location and the proximity to eloquent parts of the brain and spinal cord. If the tumor is in an area of the brain that can’t be reached safely, only a small amount of tissue is taken. This is called a biopsy.
  • Radiation therapy. The goal of radiation is to kill cancer cells. This is done using X-rays, gamma rays, or proton beams. This may be done to shrink a tumor before surgery. Or it may be done to kill any cancer cells left after surgery. Radiation therapy may also be used as the main treatment if surgery is not an option. It can also help relieve symptoms caused by a tumor.
  • Chemotherapy. Chemotherapy may be used after surgery or biopsy. Its goal is to reduce the chance that the cancer will grow and spread. This is called adjuvant chemotherapy. In most cases, chemotherapy medicines are taken by mouth as pills. But they may also be given as and IV into a vein or into the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) around the brain. If you can’t have surgery, your doctor may still give you chemotherapy. You may also have it with radiation therapy. You may also have chemotherapy if your cancer returns after treatment.
  • Targeted therapy. Newer medicines target different parts of tumor cells or nearby blood vessels. These medicines are usually given in a clinical trial. They work differently from standard chemotherapy medicines. Some of these targeted medicines are now used to help treat certain brain tumors. They are usually used when surgery is not an option.
  • Other medicines. Other medicines might be used to help relieve symptoms caused by the tumor or its treatment. For example, you might be given medicines to help prevent seizures, or to help control swelling in the brain.
  • Stereotactic radiosurgery. Non-surgical radiation therapy used to treat small tumors of the brain. It can deliver precisely-targeted radiation in fewer high-dose treatments than traditional therapy, which can help preserve healthy tissue.

Additional Resources

Share Your Story

Are you interested in sharing
your experience with us?

Yes I am
Share Your Story