Early treatment often improves the likelihood of a good outcome.
Treatment depends on the size and type of tumor and your general health. Goals
of treatment may be to stop the progression of the tumor, relieve symptoms and
improve brain function or comfort.
Surgery is performed by a neurosurgeon, and is often needed for most
primary brain tumors. Some tumors may be completely removed. Those that are
deep inside the brain or that enter brain tissue may be debulked instead of
removed. Debulking is a procedure to reduce the tumor's size.
Tumors can be hard to remove completely by surgery alone. This is
because the tumor invades surrounding brain tissue much like roots from a plant
spread through soil. When the tumor cannot be removed, surgery may still help
reduce pressure and relieve symptoms.
Brain mapping with functional MRI or other tests will be determined and
ordered by the neurosurgeon.
Laser Interstitial Thermal Therapy (LITT) may be used based on
recommendation by the neurosurgeon.
A radiation oncologist will determine the best type of radiation
therapy is used for certain tumors. Sometimes, radiation is the only treatment
needed. It may also be used to:
Radiation therapy is typically given over many weeks with low-dose
Stereotactic radiosurgery and radiotherapy is available for people who
have brain tumors. This treatment targets and treats a specific, abnormal area
without harming surrounding tissue. The word “stereotactic” describes the
process used to find a single point for treatment. “Radiosurgery” refers to the
process of focusing high-power energy on a small, defined area of treatment. It
is not a traditional surgical procedure. Radiosurgery is usually administered
in one to five sessions.
Radiosurgery may be used to treat patients who have the following
Allina Health has invested in the most current technology in the
treatment of brain and spine tumors. Radiation therapies include a Varian™ Trilogy linear accelerator and Nasseff
or cancer-killing drugs, may be used with surgery or radiation treatment.
Chemotherapy may be used to:
Chemotherapy drugs may be given in a number of different ways,
including injections or pills. Because these medicines travel through the blood
to the entire body, chemotherapy is described as a body-wide treatment.
The rapidly changing field of oncology care offers many opportunities
and challenges. Patients may choose to participate in research programs that
could help advance their care and the care of other patients. Patients who
choose to enroll in selected clinical trials have their health and safety
closely monitored by a team of health care professionals. Learn
more about available clinical trials.
Virginia Piper Cancer Institute and John Nasseff Neuroscience Institute
John E. Trusheim, MD, medical director of neuro-oncology, Virginia Piper Cancer Institute