Skull Based Cancer

The Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital has a comprehensive Skull Base Surgical service led by Dr Ryan Sommerville that combines the expertise of sub-specialty fellowship trained specialists from Otolaryngology, Neurosurgery, and Radiology supported by a talented reconstructive team. They treat all manner of skull base disorders including open and expanded endoscopic approaches to anterior skull base and sinonasal lesions, plus also open lateral approaches. This includes acoustic neuroma and meningioma surgery, petrous apex and clival surgery, and approaches for the infratemporal fossa and also advanced head and neck cancer that has spread to the skull base either directly or via perineural spread – a true 360-degree approach to the skull base. The treatment paradigms of the RBWH Skull Base team are based on multi-disciplinary discussion, and Dr’s Sommerville, Lomas and Papacostas are also members of the Qld Skull Base Unit. This team approach results in the best outcome for the patient.

The RBWH Skull Base Unit is heavily involved in research aimed towards improving outcomes for their patients. Current projects include:

• Assessing markers for aggressiveness in advanced skin cancer that involves the skull base that may be amenable to immunotherapy and chemotherapy trials
• High end skull base MRI imaging collaborative projects between the RBWH Imaging department, the Herston Imaging Research Facility and the Centre of Advanced Imaging at UQ
• Prospective data collection to proactively follow outcomes of the different treatment pathways and their usefulness in skull base cancers
• Multi-disciplinary management of complicated skull base cancers