Surgery is the primary form of treatment for brain tumors that lie within the membranes covering the brain or in parts of the brain that can be removed without damaging critical neurological functions. Because a tumor is likely to recur if any tumor cells are left behind, the goal of surgery is to remove the entire tumor whenever possible.
Radiation therapy and chemotherapy are generally used as secondary or adjuvant treatments for tumors that cannot be managed using only surgery. However, radiation and chemotherapy may be used without surgery if the tumor is inoperable. 1
If the tumor is appropriate, Gamma Knife surgery can effectively be used on smaller tumors3 Since 1968, non-invasive Gamma Knife radiosurgery for the treatment of brain tumors and vascular malformations has enjoyed incredible success. More than 65,000 patients have been safely treated with focused gamma rays worldwide.
Chemotherapy is helpful in controlling high-grade gliomas. The goal of chemotherapy is to kill as many of the tumor cells as possible, and to put remaining tumor cells into a nondividing, sleeping state for as long as possible. Most chemotherapy agents are designed to attack tumor cells in a way that impairs their ability to divide and give rise to additional tumor cells. Some newer drugs under investigation attempt to attack other aspects of tumors, such as formation of new blood vessels.3
Many different chemotherapy drugs are available. Neuro-oncologists are skilled at tailoring treatments for individual patients. For most tumors radiation is given prior to chemotherapy, however, chemotherapy may be administered prior to radiation therapy for patients whose tumors contain a component of oligodendroglioma.
Chemotherapy for patients with glioblastoma multiforme occasionally raises an important question as to timing. Specifically, although chemotherapy is beneficial, it is not known whether the timing of administration after radiation is important, particularly for older patients. Some centers in the United States now save chemotherapy until there is evidence that the tumor is growing after radiation therapy in these older patients. This may mean that months could elapse between the end of radiation treatment and the beginning of chemotherapy, allowing the patient to recover strength. Other specialists prefer to give chemotherapy immediately after radiation therapy and to give different chemotherapy when the tumor starts to grow again. This decision has to made on a patient-by-patient basis.2
Find a treatment center . They can give you more specific information.
Rachel Leone Shewfelt: Los Angeles, CA, USA
Asley Meyers-Turner: Los Angeles, CA, USA
Jaclyn Sabol: White Planes, NY, USA
Akiva Zablocki: New York, NY, USA
Liz Salmi: Sacramento, CA, USA
Catherine Blotner: Tempe, AZ, USA
Kelly Hoffman Bolinger: Wimberly, TX, USA
Matt Cotcher: Austin, TX, USA
Rick Franzo: Paradice Valley, PA, USA
Iram J. Leon: Austin, TX, USA
Chris Grundner: Wilmington, DE, USA
Bob Gibbs: Clearwater, FL, USA
Beth Rosenthal: Edison, NJ, USA
Liz Holzemer: Highlands Ranch, CO, USA
Matthew Zachary: New York, NY, USA
International Brain Tumour Alliance: based in Austrailia and England
Acromegaly Community: virtual community
Students Supporting Brain Tumor Research: based in Arizona, USA
Meningioma Mommas: based in Colorado, USA
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